Politics and bedfellows

Eric Cantor
Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor, Republican congressman from Virginia was defeated in his state’s primary election Tuesday night by someone from the Tea Party, oddly enough that group that Cantor had some hand in shaping, named David Brat.

William Gheen
William Gheen

No big deal really until you see who Brat asked for help to defeat Cantor, one David Gheen of ALIPAC (Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee) a rather innocuous sounding name until you read what that group stands for.

  • Warns of violent revolution if the Tea Party can’t stop the immigrant “invasion.”
  • Says violence may be needed to stop Obama’s war on “white America.”
  • Wants President Obama arrested for his immigration policies, possibly through a military coup .
  • Calls immigration “national rape” that takes the power away from “traditional Americans.”
  • Fears that America will no longer be “governed by people of European descendancy.”
  • Warns of “black mobs roaming many U.S. cities targeting and beating the crap out of white people.”
  • Demanded that Sen. Lindsey Graham come out as gay because he claimed he was being blackmailed into supporting immigration reform.

Notice how Gheen has wrapped himself in the American flag which some say is usually what “scoundrels” do.  This is the constituency Brat will be expected to listen, cater to when and if he takes office. Let’s hope the people of the 7th Congressional district in Virginia have the sense not to elect him.  Brat’s victory comes a day after Juan Cole wrote another brilliant article detailing the latest white American terrorists and their attacks on the Homeland.   In it he lays the connection between white terror and white supremacy….something people of color have been asserting for quite some time in America.

The American far Right, with its white supremacism, fascination with guns and explosives, profound hatred for the Federal government, poses the biggest terrorism threat in the country by far.  Worse, they receive support from right wing media in the U.S. because they hate taxes just the way the ultra-conservative media moguls doe.  Although their attacks are ideological, directed at civilian victims and violent, they are seldom categorized as ‘terrorists.’  Rather what they do is “mass shootings.”  In the meantime, plots hatched by Muslims in the U.S. during the past few years appear almost always to be a form of entrapment by the FBI.



The Las Vegas shooting aftermath

There are several lessons to be learned from this latest case of mass murder in America.  The first is that profiling is dangerous and counterproductive.

Amanda Miller
Amanda Miller

The police were shot at point blank range by a man and a woman who they viewed and never thought posed a danger to them because they didn’t fit the profile.  American society has had it drummed into itself that people of danger and violence are swarthy, dark skinned people with strange names and practices.  Jerad and Amanda Miller appeared non-threatening enough for them to walk armed into an establishment full of people without attracting significant attention to themselves to warn of danger, approach two law

Jerad Miller
Jerad Miller

enforcement officers and shoot them in the head.  They were able to do that because of a conditioned response in America that suggests even a heavily armed white person, witness the people in Texas with rifles openly carried in establishments throughout that state, are not a threat and can be sufficiently disregarded as such.  That inherent assumption by those officers was their fatal mistake.

The other observation to be made is the fallacy that every law abiding citizen having access to a firearm has the potential to avert a deadly situation with the use of their own deadly force. A shopper in the Wal Mart where this tragedy ended decided on his own to approach Jerad and was killed by Amanda.  Had he evacuated the premises as he was warned and as happened to everyone else who left the Wal Mart that day…he would be alive today.  Many applaud his bravery but the cost he paid was meaningless. He never fired a shot and his death prevented no further loss of life than the two terrorists.  No doubt a legend will build up around Joseph Wilcox and his death was indeed a tragedy but it was also in vain. He too fell to the fallacy of not assessing what he was faced with and failed to notice Amanda Miller who walked up and shot him point blank in the back of the head.

Finally make no mistake about it; the Millers are American terrorists spun from the white supremacy movement that has been around since the beginning of European domination of this country.  Miller told acquaintances he was kicked off the Clive Bundy ranch and despite the rather lukewarm rebuke by Bundy’s wife, that ranch…if we were to follow common protocol established since 911 of guilt by association….should be razed to the ground because Bundy has not sufficiently disavowed the terror incited by the Millers.  Of course that won’t happen but such is the strategy we’ve come to expect be handed out to terrorists and it’s just that reason why they won’t be called terrorists.  Indeed, every name in the book has been tossed their way except “terrorist”.  White supremacists, killers, militia members….everything except terrorists but that’s exactly what they were.  Juan Cole wrote a brilliant article about why that is

1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”

2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.

3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen.Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.

4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.

5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.

6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.

7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.

8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.

9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.

10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.

I’m sure you can see how the media has followed Cole’s script to the letter in dealing with this latest round of senseless violence. Until we have the courage to deal with the problem of wanton violence we will continue to suffer with it.  Fix this America!

American media’s steady decline

It’s amazing how history sometimes repeats itself.  Keith Olbermann’s departure from MSNBC reminds me of the Phil Donahue firing which happened just before the last Iraq war, but without war drums beating so loudly.  Olbermann, love him or hate him, there was almost no middle ground judging by many of the comments I’ve read on the topic but I respected him for saying things that many given the same pulpit were afraid to say and that’s saying alot.

American media’s decline however BEGAN with the Phil Donahue firing and the media’s willingness to become a “stenographer” for the Administration in power.  Judy Miller et. co. were the waterboys/girls for an administration with imperialistic intent in mind and objective journalism went right out the window.  Of course, you could make the case for journalism’s demise occurring even before that, extending to the days of William Buckley’s association with the CIA and others, but we’re a shortsighted Nation that rarely thinks beyond the last debacle in our history, so let’s leave it at Iraq.

I’ve read where many people decried Olbermann’s personality, arrogance, etc. but those same people most likely tune in to Bill O’Reilly, Hannity, et.al who display an arrogance that makes Olbermann look like a pussycat in comparison, so was it his condescending personality or what he said that they detested?  Indeed, it appears America can no longer stand dissent even when it’s principled or factual. Juan Cole has a pretty good take on the Olbermann departure that you can read here.  I especially liked this line

It seems Olbermann is too extreme for US television. But Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, now they are mainstream. What universe could that proposition be true in? That of cranky old white billionaires. And television news is owned by them. Not by you.

which is why I’ve said repeatedly, citizenship journalism is much more worthy of your time and consideration than anything you might find on cable TV.  For example, do you think anyone now on television besides, perhaps Jon Stewart will say this

Hardly!  What America needs is as steady a droning voice for ‘the rule of law’, adherence to the principles of republican democracy as they are getting from the voices of hatred and racism that have taken over America airwaves.  Only then can one really “decide” because they will have had the ability to choose from this or that…something not available to the consumer at the moment.  I lament the departure of Olbermann…I liked him and linked to him several times here…but there are still many good citizen journalists whose voices have not been silenced who also deserve your time and attention.  Please read, listen to what they have to say.

On second thought

protestiiProfessor Juan Cole, whose blog I read constantly comes out swinging against street demonstrations in opposition to what’s going on in Gaza.

I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t matter if tens of thousands of people demonstrate in Paris. Oh,it might put a little pressure on Sarkozy to remonstrate a little harder with the Israeli government, but in the larger scheme of things it isn’t very significant.

Europe has ceded dealing with the Israelis to the United States.

The people of the United States have ceded dealing with the Israelis to the US Congress.

All of the above is true, but the fault lies in the last statement, the people have given up their power to control politicians by allowing themselves to be easily manipulated and not throwing the scoundrels out of office if they are not in lock step with the wishes of their constituents.   For example, the mood of the people in 2008 was against the deployment of US forces in lands that have posed little or no threat to US vital interests, or even US allies, yet the likes of Nancy Pelosi,  and John Conyers,  just to name a few, were reelected inspite of this public backlash.  Why?

Later in his piece Cole describes how the Israeli lobby is able to effectively influence members of Congress, and I submit so can We the people.  Professor Cole does offer up an excellent suggestion of how that can be done, and I’ll leave it up to the reader to read what is written in Cole’s own words.  My contention to Professor Cole’s piece is this: people the world over need to see there is an active opposition in America to  government tyranny, even if the opposition is not effective in changing policy.  It’s the one way we are able to show the international community that our government may be rotten in its foreign policy but America is still a good place to live and its people are still imbued with the spirit of freedom  and liberty.  In the absence of such images people can easily justify their rhetoric of hate and fear towards Americans and their form of government.  Believe me, the distinction between America’s government  and its people  is known, recognized and appreciated the world over.

I remember how the placards and card board signs influenced America during the era of civil rights and Vietnam.  They were not solely responsible for  positive change, but they certainly played a part in that change.  When we can synchronize the protest on the streets with the protest at the ballot box, we will return America to a truly representative form of government envisioned by the “Founding Fathers”.   Until that time, I really like seeing and hearing the voices of  dissent and hope they will flourish.  When they stop being raised is when everyone should be afraid!