Monday, November 26, 2012

Scott Pelley shills for the Corporations

On the CBS Evening News of November 19, 2012, anchor Scott Pelley interviewed Lloyd Blankenfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs.  The interview was described as "rare."   The subject was economic recovery and the 'fiscal cliff.'
Mr. Blankenfein stated that there is a need for more revenue so the wealthy should pay more in taxes.  There is a need for less spending and the place to do that is 'entitlements', i.e., Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.
A nice tidy package that, if swallowed, would solve our fiscal problems, or so he would have us believe..  Mr. Pelley swallowed it.  I did not.
The USA is not only lacking investigative reporting at the federal level;  it suffers from a dearth of competent reporting.
Mr. Pelley was subdued by the supposed honor of the invitation to speak to Mr. Blankenfein, one of the most influential men in the world in charge of one of the biggest banks in the world.
Mr. Pelley did not ask one tough question.  He did not provide a differing POV.  I don't believe he ever intended to.  This interview was a set-up, the first shot fired by the corporatacracy and the government to 'educate the American people about the sacrifices they need to make.'
The media in America are owned by the corporations and do their bidding. 
 The worst omission of the interview was the  failure to mention  the billions spent on the Pentagon, the CIA, and the  Superstate of Security behemoth that exceeds the cost and dangers of the military-industrial complex.
Of course, Mr. Blankenfein wouldn't reduce spending there.  He needs those organizations to protect his financial interests around the world. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

God Give Us Men

I posted this poem in February 2010.  Thought I'd bring it to the front of the room again.

God give us men!  A time like this demands
strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
  Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
  Men who have honor - men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue,
  And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog,
  In public duty and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions, and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo!  Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land, and waiting Justice sleeps.

by Josiah Gilbert Holland
American writer  (1819-1881)

This poem is from a popular American literature textbook for high school students, published in 1935 and used through the 1940's. 

It isn't read today, I'm sure.  After all, it is the work of that dreaded historical figure, the Dead White Male. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Matt Ridley: Optimist or Fool?

I have been spending some time in doctor's offices lately which means I am reading a variety of magazines I don't usually see.  One such magazine was the Readers Digest (April 2012) which contained an article by Matt Ridley, a visitor from an alternate universe.
In this article Mr. Ridley posited a number of statements that prove his assertion that life on this planet has never been so good and it's only going to get better.
 One particular paragraph caught my attention and I record it here:

"By 9a.m., I have shaved with an American razor,  eaten bread made with French wheat and spread with New Zealand butter and Spanish marmalade,  brewed tea from Sri Lanka,  dressed in clothes made from Indian cotton and Australian wool,  put on shoes of Chinese leather and Maylasian rubber, and read a newspaper printed on Finnish paper with Chinese ink.  I have consumed miniscule fractions of the productive labor of hundreds of people.  This is the magic of trade and specialization.  Self-sufficiency is poverty."
"Self-sufficiency is poverty."   Autonomy, I suppose, is a psychosis.

Mr. Ridley is the ultimate consumer;  a globalist as well.  So thoroughly self-absorbed  in his well-being that his writings fly over troubling anomalies such as persistent famine and war.
He is unaware that the 'productive labor' of people around the world includes the killing in the diamond mines of Africa,  the slave labor in parts of Asia,  the suicide nets installed on the exterior walls  of Foxconn's factories to catch those who throw themselves out the window preferring death to a life of 'productive labor.'
Productive for whom, Mr. Ridley?  Productive for what?
Mr. Ridley lives a life of material comfort and ease.  He also lives a life of complete dependency.
Why he is a favorite of many conservatives escapes me.