Archive for the ‘Livin’ in the USA’ Category


My pal Al Perry has just put up a much improved version — in terms of both audio mix and background visuals — of “Jukebox Jihad” on Youtube.  If you’re up for some high energy rockabilly and guilty laughs, click on that link right now.

(In accord with our strict adherence to the FCC Fairness Doctrine, we’d urge you to also check out Chuck Maultsby’s “Ballad of the USS Liberty.”)

USS Liberty after Israeli attack

Finally, the track that comes on Youtube after “Jukebox Jihad” is Al’s cover of the old folk rock tune, “The Snake,” which is also worth a listen.

Check it out.



–from Steve Adire’s Twitter feed @sadire


by Chaz Bufe, publisher See Sharp Press

I’ve been putting off writing this post for some time, but last week a grotesque piece of political performance art jolted me into putting fingers to keyboard: Hillary Clinton declared herself part of the “resistance,” and announced the she was creating a PAC (!) to fund “resistance” groups she approves of (and that, presumably, approve of her).

Why is this grotesque? She’s the one-woman embodiment of the status quo, not “the resistance.”

Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger

Hillary Clinton with war criminal Henry Kissinger

She voted in favor of Bush’s catastrophic invasion of Iraq. She was the architect of the disastrous intervention in Libya (with no plan about what would follow Qaddafi’s overthrow). During the presidential debates, she even bragged about being friends with mass murderer Henry Kissinger.

And she takes money — lots of it — from the banks and corporations, including “pay” for three speeches to Goldman Sachs between 2013 and 2015 at $225,000 each, and another eight speeches to banks in the same period garnering her another $1.8 million.

Bill Clinton is no saint in this regard, either. In February 2016 CNN documented Bill and Hillary Clinton’s receiving, to that point, $153,000,000 in speaking fees. (Yes, $153 million.)

And like those of her husband, her campaigns (and PACs and SuperPACs supporting her) have been funded predominantly by the corporations, banks, and those who own them. One strongly suspects that the ultra-rich who fund Clinton aren’t doing so out of the goodness of their hearts.

It would be exceedingly difficult if not impossible to prove that her (and her husband’s) positions are payback for that funding, but consider this: During her career in politics, she, like her husband, never even proposed any measures that would threaten her backers financially.

To cite the most prominent example of that, she has consistently opposed a “Medicare for all” single-payer system (supported by approximately 60% of the public), and instead has opted for plans which leave our healthcare in the hands of the big pharma and insurance industry vampires, whose goal is to deliver the minimum amount of healthcare for the maximum amount of dollars.

Which brings us to her predecessor. Barack Obama ran on a platform of “hope and change.” And then he systematically betrayed those who voted for him. He continued, and in some ways intensified (drone assassinations of U.S. citizens), George W. Bush’s disastrous, interventionist, neo-con foreign policy. He kept the wars going, and kept up American support for authoritarian Islamist (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey) and military (Egypt) regimes.

He also promised the most open administration in history, and then delivered the most secretive, with mass surveillance of all of us, and the persecution of whistle blowers — at the same time that he completely let the banking criminals responsible for the financial crash completely off the hook.

Domestically, he proposed a stimulus big enough to keep the economy from collapsing (thus saving the banks) during the recession, but nowhere near big enough to put the 8.7 million who lost their jobs back to work. Nor did he do anything to help the 7 million who lost their homes.

What did he deliver? A singularly inadequate piece of healthcare legislation that protected big pharma and the insurance industry, and left tens of millions uninsured and tens of millions more underinsured. Obama also delivered, to some extent, on social issues that did not threaten his ultra-rich and corporate backers: gay rights and reproductive rights.

Richard Branson and Barack Obama on Branson's yacht

Richard Branson and Barack Obama on Branson’s yacht

Now that he’s left office, he’s been cashing in on his celebrity and connections — including being paid a $400,000 speaking fee by a Wall Street firm — and hanging out with his natural constituency, billionaires (Richard Branson and David Geffen).

Which brings us to the present, the “democratic wing of the Democratic Party” is currently trying to wrest control of it from the corporate lackeys personified by Obama and the Clintons (and Diane Feinstein, John Podesta, Chuck Schumer, Donna Brazile, Nancy Pelosi, et al.).

The corporatists recently won the first major battle, electing Obama’s Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, as chairman of the Democratic National Committee over Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison.

(This on the heels of the DNC’s rigging the presidential primaries against Bernie Sanders and for Hillary Clinton — by among other things drastically restricting the number of debates and by scheduling them at times almost guaranteed to deliver low viewership, thus throwing away tens of millions of dollars of free air time.)

This does not portend well. It portends more of the same: no real attempt to address the gross economic inequality in this country, no attempt to institute universal healthcare, and instead a continued focus on social issues (that are no threat to the rich), all under the stirring battle cry, “We’re not as bad as the Republicans!”

It’s time for people to wake up and realize that the Democrats (at least the Clintons, Obama, and the rest of the corporatists) are not their friends.

Instead, they’re the “good cop” in America’s perennial good-cop / bad-cop political extortion routine.

The “good cop” is not your friend.

* * *

(Chaz Bufe is the author, co-author, or translator of 12 books. His latest work is The American Heretic’s Dictionary, which is the 21st century’s equivalent of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary.)


American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


For once, a Trump Administration official has sad something that’s easy to believe, and that is backed by over a century of abundant evidence:

“Our values around freedom, human dignity, the way people are treated—those are our values. Those are not our policies.” 

–Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressing State Department employees on 5-3-17


It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these posts, so there should be something here for everyone, crap in a wide variety of shades–a veritable rainbow of crap ranging from the merely interesting, to the revealing, to the mocking and amusing, to the grotesque and repugnant, and finally to crap in everyone’s favorite flavor: schadenfreude.

So, hang on to your 10-gallon Stetsons. Yeehaw!

Slim Pickins from Doctor Strangelove

  • Here’s one for those trying to make sense of the ongoing baboon infestation in the White House: “Making the man: To understand Trump look at his relationship with his dad.”
  • Given the attempts by the corporate Democrats and their allies in the media to induce amnesia in the public, Paul Street has provided a timely reminder that Barack Obama was a terrible president (not as bad as Bush the Lesser or as aberrant as Donald Drumpf, but terrible nonetheless): “We were warned about Barack Obama — by Obama himself.”
  • Priceonomics has provided a useful reminder that religion-induced nuttiness and prudishness were even worse in the 1950s than they are now: “The campaign to make ‘indecent’ animals wear clothing.”
  • The newfound popularity / surge in sales of 1984 since Trump took office, driven by the woefully uninformed — the book is a critique of Stalinism — is nicely dissected by Josephine Livingstone in a brief essay subtitled, “Why ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four is not the book we need in the Trump era.”
  • For those who have been living in a cave, and for those of us who live for schadenfreude, Erik Wemple does a fine job of stating the obvious about recently fired bloviator Bill O’Reilly, “An awful, awful man.”
  • Speaking of schadenfreude, if you want to wallow in it, luxuriate in it, consider the sad, sad tale of the suffering at the Fyre Fest, a “luxury” music festival in the Bahamas for entitled douchebags, where tickets started at a plebeian $1,000 and escalated to a $125,000 “package.” Needless to say — in a spectacle more entertaining than watching two scorpions in a locked-cage death match — the entitled douchebags who “suffered” are suing the entitled douchebags who created the event. Pop a cold one, sit back, read, and enjoy!
  • Returning to a slightly more innocent form of humor, Riverby Books, in Washington, DC, has produced an ad written in a variety of pidgin, an ad written entirely in Trumpese.
  • At long last there’s a rival for the title of All-Time Most Grotesque and Disturbing Internet News Item. The reigning champ is the 2004 piece, “480-Pound Woman Dies After Six Years On Couch,” about a morbidly obese woman who was “fused” to a couch after remaining on it for six years, not getting up even to defecate. (Why yes! You have guessed her state of residence.) And in this corner, from Confessions of a Funeral Director, the challenger, “Morbid Obesity + Cremation =?,” about a “grease fire” that destroyed a crematorium after it attempted to cremate a morbidly obese body.

 

Porky Pig

 

And th…, th…, th…, th…, th… that’s all, folks.

Pleasant dreams y’all.


Fr. Fish Donald Trump graphic

“Donald Trump is the face of our collective idiocy. He is what lies behind the mask of our professed civility and rationality—a sputtering, narcissistic, bloodthirsty megalomaniac. He wields armies and fleets against the wretched of the earth, blithely ignores the catastrophic human misery caused by global warming, pillages on behalf of global oligarchs and at night sits slack-jawed in front of a television set before opening his “beautiful” Twitter account. He is our version of the Roman emperor Nero . . .”

–Chris Hedges, “Reign of Idiots