Archive for April, 2010

“The Government War” by David Brooks (TIMES, 4/23/10)

April 26, 2010

          The first paragraph of David Brooks’ latest column is as good an example of doubletalk as would appear any place else I know of, complete with the oxymoron “progressive conservatism.”

          Then, of course, he repeats the old saw that “the world is more complex than we can know” as justification for exploitation of the majority by a moneyed minority. After which, he presents his usual distortions of the political situation; e.g., “the two parties have drifted further to the extremes.” On the contrary, the rash Republicans have stirred up the many rightists in their ranks to move even further in that direction, while the cautious Democrats have tried to stay planted in the center.

          But it makes no difference. In the hands of ruthless advisers like Karl Rove and the many media whores on the Republican Party payroll, the center is demonized as leftist. 

          If anything can be called “stale,” it is the meanderings in this despicable op-ed piece by a self-styled moderate conservative, culminating in the oft-repeated big lie that “the Republicans are the small government party.”

          Was the government small from January 2001 to January 2009 when Shadow President Dick Cheney briefed the titular executive every Thursday morning? Can a government that started two wars in the Middle East, a situation which dangerously enhanced the opportunities of ambitious military leaders, be called small?

          The Republican party is the party of war and war necessitates a big government. How odd that a smart guy like David Brooks has missed that!

          When this hack takes aim at the big government spending for the military, I’ll consider referring to him as “moderate.” Right now, he is as reactionary as his hero Edmund Burke was in the 18th century.

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“Unemployment Is Tied To Big Drop in Demand” (TIMES, 4/18/10)

April 19, 2010

          What difference does it make to people without jobs that unemployment is caused by a “big drop in demand,” rather than a “structural” problem?

          When is the Obama administration, now in office for fifteen months, going to do something about reducing unemployment?

          American workers don’t want lectures on economics from top advisers like Christina D. Romer; they want active measures that will at least alleviate the problem.

          Enough talk, Ms Romer; do something!

“The Tea Party Movement”

April 19, 2010

          Between Brian Stelter’s news story on page A11 and Charles M. Blow’s editorial on page A15, it looks like the Fox News Network has, in fact, created this so-called “spontaneous rightwing populist movement” that raises the specter of the righteous Boston Tea Party of colonial times.

          It is just as I have been suspecting for months; i.e., rightwing populism is an oxymoron. These tea partiers are being run from the big bankroll made available to them by a minority of rich conservatives and reactionaries in the USA.

          No doubt some of these activists are only naive morons, but the attention they have been getting is possible because of the funding at their disposal.

          The TIMES should try a little harder to expose that connection. As “Deep Throat” advised a couple of good investigative reporters: “follow the money.” That’s how you get “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”

“A Different Creature” by Bob Herbert (TIMES, 4/13/10)

April 19, 2010

          No, Nancy Pelosi, it is not “a different creature”! It is a Depression and there is no excuse for a person in your high position in the U.S government to hide that fact any longer.

          It looks like you are doing so to avoid a panic (the usual label for economic downturns in the 19th century) in financial circles before the November election.

          That is the wrong approach to this crisis. The election is more than a half a year away and there is already too much suffering. Working people cannot wait. Something has to be done NOW.

          The first step is doing something significant to relieve the suffering is to stop pretending you don’t know what it is (“a different creature”!) or misidentifying it (“a Great Recession”!).

          The USA needs a New Deal. Stop listening to the minority of blue dogs in your party and get to work at implementing it!

“A Voice of Reason” by Bob Herbert (TIMES, 4/10/10)

April 12, 2010

          When Bob Herbert praises Demos as a progressive organization of “more moderate, liberal and left-of-center voices” he reveals what may be the problem in the U.S political arena; i.e., a credible viewpoint is constrained to a right-center position.

          I would say such a depiction undermines his claim that Demos is a progressive organization. With the extreme right well represented and financed in the USA and credible even to its opponents, the invalidation of the LEFT, no matter from what source, weakens the progressive cause.

          Like so many well-meaning progressives, Herbert seems to be advocating a strong centrist coalition as the best defense against the mean-spirited conservatism that is so influential today. The opportunist Bill Clinton once preached that a good president rules from the center, which was an artful claim. When the left is weak, the center is severely threatened; therefore, to remain more stable, it drifts to the right (which was what Clinton did).

          The same thing will probably happen to Demos if it doesn’t change its alignment.

“A Mine Boss Inspires Fear, But Pride, Too” by Ian Urbina & John Leland (TIMES, 4/8/10)

April 12, 2010

          Ian Urbina and John Leland are to be congratulated for their exposure of a feudal society in West Virginia in the first decade of the 21st century.

          Many of the people of Montcoal, site of the recent mine disaster that killed at least 25 miners, are modern-day serfs beholden to the Massey Energy Company’s manager, Don L. Blankenship, who controls their existence in the employ of a union-busting and safety-defying mining company motivated solely by the drive for profit.

          Blankenship, son of a small merchant, rose to be the enforcer of the Massey Company’s capitalist venture and has been strutting his authority like a modern-day sheriff of Nottingham, the King’s officer who terrorized that English county in the Middle Ages.

          If the details of Robin Hood’s story are accurate, the evil sheriff, along with a bounty hunter named Guy of Gisborne, fell to that famous bandit’s longbow.

          Of course, we can’t expect that fate to befall this 21st century company thug, but surely an indictment for violating mining safety regulations is in order.

“Another Mining Tragedy” (TIMES, 4/7/10)

April 12, 2010

          I wonder how many times in the years of my life I have read about a business that puts “profits before the welfare of its workers”? That phrase always appears after some disaster, followed by much hypocritical hand-wringing in the media, but few lasting safeguards ever materialize.

          As long as the U.S. rulingclass can disappear its work force, which is only possible with the cooperation of the bought media and a two-party system that conspires to disfranchise workers, such disasters will continue.

          With the representatives of the workingclass all but invisible, no genuine redress of grievances can be expected.

“Relax, we’ll be fine” by David Brooks (TIMES, 4/6/10)

April 12, 2010

          Workers of the USA, lend me your ears: David Brooks has assured us that everything will be just dandy–by the year 2050! However, the economic good times might not take place in NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles, but in Boise, Dubuque and Fargo, so make sure you lay away some warm clothes. It’s called “vibrant suburbanization” and it’s only forty years away.

          Meanwhile, in the year 2010, the USA needs a jobs program that will cut deeply into the massive unemployment-underemployment-low wages nightmare that the workingclass is PRESENTLY enduring. Some of them will even journey to frozen Fargo if there are decent full-time jobs there.

          Maybe Brooks could serve as the editor-in-chief of Fargo’s best newspaper and help rally workers to the “great luscious orgy.” 

          When reporters should be writing about realistic solutions to our dire economic plight, how sad that David Brooks spews out a feel-good fairy tale in All the News That’s Fit to Print!

“Karzai’s Words Leave Few Choices for the West” (TIMES, 4/5/0)

April 5, 2010

          Hamid Karzai is a fraud willing to deal with anybody who will keep him in power. He calls to mind the ghosts of Chiang Kai-shek, Syngman Rhee and Ngo Dinh Diem, three long ago phonies who U.S leaders failed to make credible. Not nearly enough of their own people believed in them.

          The USA has already suffered over a thousand dead in the UNNECESSARY war in Afghanistan. It is time for President Obama to play the role of the commander-in-chief he is and immediately devise an EXIT STRATEGY that will safely withdraw U.S. and other foreign armies from the QUAGMIRE in which they squirm helplessly.

          ENOUGH!

“The Ecstasy of Fiscal Policy” by David Brooks (TIMES, 4/2/10)

April 5, 2010

          Why do you continually allow scatterbrained David Brooks to puke on your editorial page? If you must retain the services of this media whore, give him a few weeks off to get his thinking under control. Maybe he would like to spend some time in a “West Hollywood lesbian bondage club.” That way, he can atone for his move from Humphrey democrat to “moderate” (!) conservative. Somewhere under that amiable exterior is a soul tormented by guilt feelings.