Monday, October 22, 2012
Greetings, freedom fighters! I honor the memory of George McGovern, who passed away at the age of ninety. I took a LOT of shit from the other kids in the rural township I grew up in for being pro-McGovern; but I don't regret it, I believe it was the way to go. I believe in standing on principle, don't stick your finger in the wind and try to figure out which opinions are fashionable. One phrase I have kept hearing from conservatives is about the "left-liberal-slanted news media." It's a convenient scapegoat for them to bring up, for when facts don't go their way, like in how the Viet Nam war fared for our government, or how unpopular the war had become, or of the rightness of the Civil Rights movement or the other freedom movements that came from it, such as for women, LGBT people, Native Americans, Hispanics, etc. The phrase "working the ref," from baseball, describes the conservatives attempt to bully and dominate the news media-the coach of a team accuses the referee of bias in favor of the other team, hoping the referee will in future be biased his way. But if the referee knows he's being "worked," and if he has a modicum of backbone, he could see through this act and resist it. In fact, there is a cultural-psychological bias in favor of conservatism; behaviors that would put a left-wing person behind bars are overlooked when right-wing people do them. The "Tea Party" pseudo-movement is a case in point: lunatics raved in congressional town-halls about the Obama health care plan, threatening congress-members with violence; people have come to anti-Obama rallies carrying firearms, ranting about "second Amendment solutions"; and during the health care debate, gunshots were fired at congressional offices, and crowds to tea-party-ites threatened congress-members, using racial slurs and spitting on one. If a leftist organization did these things, the FBI would come down on them HARD. The truth is the "mainstream news" media errs to the right, not offending corporations (such as the media are), hinting at us how we should think about issues. Even NPR I notice biases towards the Republicans when it discusses the election and how Congress (mis)handles such issues as the federal budget deficit (rung up under George W. Bush) and not mentioning how the Congressional Republican (mis)leadership just acts out of denying Obama a second term. No matter how "liberal" a portion of the news media or a politician is, there is the tendency to try to control any up-and-coming social protest movement, be it the Civil Rights movement or feminism. Such movements challenge conventional modes of thinking and thus of governing, and so the establishment parties and media have to adjust to bring them under control, such as bringing in women and minorities to work for them, to give at least the impression of sensitivity to social change; the question remains whether they're more focused on advancing their minority group of their own rise within the system. The establishment, be it political, media, or industrial/financial, selects only its most faithful servants. For my part, I noticed the "mainstream news" media follow the Occupy movement a couple of weeks after it started at Wall Street; alternative media sites, like Buzzflash and AlterNet, followed it first, and the corporate media picked up on it later. It's corporate owners who dictate to their editors what the news should be; Fox News is the most horrific example, but it's the same way with other news outlets. I believe that you read the "mainstream" news first, to get a baseline for what's going on, but also read alternative media to get deeper into the issue; and try to get hold of foreign media, they would have a far different, maybe better, perspective of events than American media does. Here is the reality we face now-the old civics-lessons about politics, of reaching a compromise after debate and discussion, do not apply to the current Republican party. It has been taken over by elements of the right that such conservative icons as Barry Goldwater and Bill Buckley sought to drive out-the John Birch Society (which called Dwight Eisenhower, and veteran military man, a Communist agent), the disciples of Ayn Rand (who extolled selfishness as the greatest of virtues and called workers and other low-income people “moochers,” “parasites,” and “barefoot bums”), the kind of racists who rallied around George Wallace for President in 1968, and science-hating religious fundamentalists who want to decide women‘s right to contraception and how their bodies function. Racial hatred, fired by the presence of a Black man as President, is the fuel running many in the Republican party. Bullying, a form of terrorism, is in their playbook, in the form of shouting down speakers in town-halls and terrorizing people standing in line to exercise their right to vote, paid for with the blood and sweat of brave activists; a group allied with the tea Parties, called “True The Vote,” is a crew of self-appointed right-wing sheriffs who would dare to challenge the qualifications of people voting. Enough is enough! Let’s get ready to stand up to these creeps! Let us get out there and VOTE, and take control of our country, and place it on a positive path! Bye!