The mightiest military in world history didn’t waste an instant, immediately flying B-52s over a couple worthless islands after China announced it was claiming the airspace over them.
Who is the Pentagon fooling? Itself.
War with China? Laughable. Not even the exchange of spitballs, Apple wouldn’t have it.
Who would make all the iStuff?
Keywords: General Jack Ripper, Lionel Mandrake, B-52s, Diaoyu, Senkaku, IOU.
The New York Times:
Defying China, two long-range American bombers flew through contested airspace over the East China Sea, days after the Chinese announced they were claiming the right to police the sky above a vast area that includes islands at the center of a simmering dispute with Japan.
Pentagon officials said Tuesday that the B-52s were on a routine training mission planned long in advance of the Chinese announcement on Saturday that it was establishing an “air defense identification zone” over the area. But the message was clear.
And what message was that?
“The ideology of hardness and cruelty runs through American culture like an electric current,” in a transcript from PBS, a longer news piece on the impact recent cuts to the food stamp program have imposed on the needy:
MARY JO BROOKS: Most Republicans don’t dispute statistics which show two-thirds of recipients are children, the elderly or disabled. But they say more than three million Americans are able-bodied and could work. Cutting benefits for those people would save the program $2 billion a year.
Representative Tim Huelskamp is a Republican from Kansas.
REP. TIM HUELSKAMP, R-Kan.: We believe in work. We require productivity. We think it’s good for the taxpayers. But, most importantly, I think it’s better for these adults and families. Now, the vast majority of folks receiving food stamps wouldn’t be in this category of able-bodied adults.
But there are 3.5 million Americans and — that fit this category and we’re just expecting them to actually look for a job, because, in my area, if you look for a job, you’re going to find one.
MARY JO BROOKS: Huelskamp says tightening restrictions, including eligibility, will help reduce long-term dependency on the entitlement program.
These are the daily lies of our time, the orthodoxy of a political party, of a world view — WhiteManistan’s — driving the nation into collective insanity. It is the nullification of human beings. A world-leading country wouldn’t tolerate it. The vengeance practiced on the weak forbidden, the political party and its ideology put down. But America isn’t capable of it.
The majority of food stamp recipients already have a job. And in the last week it was impossible to overlook news about workers in America’s sweat shops, Walmart and McDonalds, living in food insecurity, on food stamps and — in one most incredible instance — working in a Walmart operation where the employer organized a drive among others in need to gather and distribute food for Thanksgiving.
Kathy Underhill, of Food Bank Colorado, tells PBS what the Republican cuts to SNAP would mean, if enacted:
It would really change the entire landscape of hunger in America if the $40 billion cuts went through. You would be looking at the prevalence of hunger and malnutrition spiking incredibly. But you also have an economic impact. Talk to grocers, and you find out. They will tell you, it means they need fewer employees. They need to purchase fewer products.
That’s means there’s future — fewer trucks moving that product. I mean, it has this whole rippling effect that would be quite profound.
“The lawmakers on Capitol Hill who will determine the size of the next round of cuts will resume their work after the Thanksgiving break,” concludes PBS.
Thanks, America. You’re all heart. Ruining Thursday and the holiday season for millions, an accomplishment worth savoring.
Spam this into the comments sections of news and debates on the food stamp program and the poor!
Get your MP3 from Dirpy.
From a book by a man named Henry Giroux, who was interviewed by Bill Moyers recently:
“The ideology of hardness and cruelty runs through American culture like an electric current…”
He adds: “Yeah, it sure does. I mean, to see poor people, their benefits being cut, to see pensions of Americans who have worked like my father, all their lives, and taken away, to see the rich just accumulating more and more wealth.”
Giroux gets directly at the American belief system that poverty is a matter of personal inferiority and that it is proper to victimize the poor because they deserve it.
“Young people are seen as disposable,” he says.
It made me want to get his book, “Zombie Politics,” which is where this is from. And I’d buy it. But you can’t afford such things when all you can make is what comes from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk digital sweat shop.
The interview is here and it’s long but there is also a transcript.
Giroux has quite a lot to say, much of it which will be familiar to readers of Escape from WhiteManistan.
Some more excerpts:
So what we begin to see is the emergence of a kind of ethic, a survival of the fittest ethic that legitimates the most incredible forms of cruelty, that seems to suggest that freedom in this discourse of getting rid of society, getting rid of the social– that discourse is really only about self-interest, that possessive individualism is now the only virtue that matters. So freedom, which is essential to any notion of democracy, now becomes nothing more than a matter of pursuing your own self interests. No society can survive under those conditions.
I mean, it seems to me that there has to be a point where you have to say, “No, this has to stop.” We can’t allow ourselves to be driven by those lies anymore. We can’t allow those who are rich, who are privileged, who are entitled, who accumulate wealth to simply engage in a flight from social and moral and political responsibility by blaming the people who are victimized by those policies as the source of those problems.
It believes that social bonds not driven by market values are basically bonds that we should find despicable …
What does it mean when you turn on the television in the United States and you see young kids, peaceful protesters, lying down with their hands locked and you got a guy with, you know, spraying them with pepper spray as if there’s something normal about that, as if that’s all it takes, that’s how we solve problems? I mean, I guess the question here is what is it in a culture that would allow the public to believe that with almost any problem that arises, force is the first way to address it.
Giroux asserts America is not a democracy. I’ve agreed for a long time. We live, or more accurately — survive, in a corporate fascist state.
And when it comes for you and it will, eventually, you’ll get to see what Mechanical Turk, or something even worse, is like, too.
On the bright seam of malevolence in American society, or as Giroux puts it — the ideology of hardness and cruelty runs through American culture like an electric current — a description of Tea Party philosophy, the same as the ideology of the old John Birch Society:
[Today’s] tea party is the modern-day rebirth of the John Birch Society. They share a world view …The same paranoid distrust of government. The same desire to protect the rich. The same cruel streak that blames the poor for their poverty and seeks to deny government help on that basis.
Hat tip to Frank at Pine View Farm.
Two faces of malevolence in America.
Want an MP3 for your devices? Click here.
And if you don’t think this is folk music or that it doesn’t efficiently use art to accurately describe the American condition, there’s something wrong with your head, a condition no one can fix.
Shannon Richardson, the Texas woman and sometime television extra who tried to frame her husband on a ricin beef by sending castor powder letters to the president and others, has entered a plea agreement with the government.
No terms have been announced. While in jail, Richardson gave birth to a child. She was originally charged with two counts of threats by mail.
Elsewhere, the two defendants at the center of the case of the Georgia Ricin Beans Gang have been in jail since the end of 2011. They still have not come to trial.
And Jeffery Levenderis, a destitute Ohio man, arrested when a jar with some castor mush was found in the refrigerator of a house he’d rented but no longer lived in, has been in jail, awaiting trial, since January 2011.
In trivial news earlier this month, an official from the Department of Homeland Security told Congress that one of the three ricin suspects arrested during the summer fad of letter-mailing, had also set up to sell something — that something undisclosed — on the closed Silkroute drug trading site. The name of the person was not given.
This was done as part of testimony that terrorists were availing themselves of the black drug site.
Using the three individuals (or at least one of them) arrested for castor-powder mailing this summer to demonstrate terrorist use on the Silkroute drug site is a really big stretch. But that’s how we roll.
Want an MP3 of “Ricin Mama” for your device? Click here. Be the first on your block to have the only blues rock tune about ricin mailing, ever!
Also featuring the only satirical use of video of Lee Atwater playing guitar with Steve Cropper (of Booker T. and the MG’s) and others.
With backstory, a real multi-media bonanza!
J. Everett Dutschke, still industriously refining the concept of weird obsessions:
A Mississippi man charged with sending poison-laced letters to President Obama and other officials has been charged with trying for a second time to frame the man first arrested in the case. The suspect, J. Everett Dutschke, has been jailed since April on charges of sending ricin-tainted letters to Mr. Obama, Senator Roger Wicker and Judge Sadie Holland of Lee County Justice Court. The new indictment says Mr. Dutschke, while in jail, tried to recruit someone to make more ricin and send it to Mr. Wicker, a Republican of Mississippi. The indictment filed in Federal District Court in Oxford says he was again trying to frame Paul Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator.
The annals of Dutschke — from the archives.
Another great piece from the Culture of Lickspittle and its raging inequality, the “50’s Telecaster,” American made by Fender’s master builders from something originally made, in today’s terms, from not more than 200 dollars in wood, finish and parts.
Seven times the cost of the made in Mexico Beggars Banquet Telecaster, shown yesterday, for American street fighting men.
But this one is for: Please let me introduce you to them … men of wealth and taste. Woo-woo.
Unfortunately, not evidence of a thriving middle class economy, as say — perhaps — in 1959 or ’60.
The Beggars Banquet collector’s item Telecaster, from Fender, for Christmas. Sold only through the Empire of Bezos, for $649.00.
Mexico manufactured, to keep the price down for the Culture of Lickspittle, Fender USA’s master builders being such an exclusive and pricey lot. Generally, Made-in-Mexico telecasters go for about 500.
Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name! Woo-woo…
But we are no longer puzzled by the nature of the game.
Haven’t yet determined if I need a Not Rock and Roll category.
From New York magazine, best headline for a song that just gets better and better:
“Paul Ryan: Poor People Need Jesus, Not Food Stamps”
Paul Ryan fights poverty by telling the poor they are so because the government gives them SNAP and healthcare and he will fix this by taking that away.
Republican Jesus! Hey, amen!
Today I’m announcing the New America Prizes in the war on poverty, eligible to all with like-minded wonderful ideas.
First Prize in the New America War on Poverty will be: A ride-along with Paul Ryan to “inner city neighborhoods” to pep up the poors on salvation! Second prize: Two ride-alongs with Paul Ryan to “inner city neighborhoods” to pep up the poors on salvation.
Want an MP3 for your device? Use this.
The pure milk of American spite — daily, now routine.
From the Guardian, on capitalism and Walmart:
“The bigger question there is why employers feel entitled to employ people, often at low wages, without providing healthcare for them. Is the idea that when they get sick or die, they’ll be replaced like lab rats? That’s a pretty diseased view of how capitalism should work.”
To which I say: Disease is us. We like disease.
Adds the paper, “When Walmart is implicitly acknowledging that its wages won’t let people afford one good dinner, its financial issues are way beyond Obamacare.”
And here’s some discussion from DD blog comments yesterday, resurrected for further use:
We live in a modern Dickensian country, the big item yesterday being the news of a Canton, OH, Walmart store holding a food drive for its sales associates.
The picture [in the Plain Dealer] alone says it all.
Walmart is a company that’s deservedly earned (and earns) … loathsome press. Yet nothing is ever done and conditions never change.
One can think of a lot of creative ways in federal, even state, law could be changed to punish a predatory corporation that uses food stamp subsidy of its workers to keep wages down and enhance its bottom line. One could do a calculation of a business based on its payment of such workers, retrieve an estimated number of them, and deduce what their food stamp benefit would be, then hit the firm with a claw-back in the form of a tax plus a large penalty for victimizing its workers.
Such money, collected nationally, could be given back to workers by placement in a national fund from which they could extract their share by simply presenting proof of employment at Walmart and a photocopy of their latest SNAP card.
With a little thought there could be a lot of remedies like this. None of them could ever happen in our world, unfortunately.
Anyway, from this we can conclude that Walmart management, as opposed to its labor force, consists entirely of sociopaths and that is what they look for when hiring. In fact, we have a national corporate economy, a fascist one, that selects for and elevates sociopaths. It explains why everything continues to turn from bad to worse.
Since it’s been building for decades, a good portion of the voting populace has now been conditioned to view it as normal, even proper, or worse — to be applauded. This, in turn, explains the malevolent nature of modern America.
And here’s a respectable discussion on remedying the Walmart problem, one that also mentions the not-unique idea of using a claw-back:
“The next proposal is more severe: Charge back the amount of public assistance any employee receives to the company he or she works for. It would be separate from tax filings, and simply be a direct penalty charged to the firm. I doubt there is much political will for this proposal, but I can see some people — especially on the Left — supporting it … My politics are pretty middle-of-the-road, and I find myself offended by subsidizing profitable companies this way.”
Could substitute the Waltons for the Kochs. Let’s sing for economic blight. Just sayin’.
Someone should put my Culture of Lickspittle album out on iTunes, I’m telling ya. Then I could come to your town, maybe, and play it for you.
Thanks to those who kept the comments alive over the weekend, if you know who you are and I think you do. It keeps things interesting.
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