Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Mubarakism WIthout Mubarak"

That was the title of my post of April 30th on this page. Now the Egyptian military junta has given us more confirmation that the military oligarchy established in 1952 with the overthrow of King Farouk by the CIA-backed "Free Officers" (led in part by Nasser, who became the first military dictator) is intact.Col. Nasser was followed as dictator by a two more generals, Sadat and then Mubarak. Now the generals left prefer for the time being to operate somewhat in the shadows, grey men hiding behind stooges they appoint, such as the "commission" that suddenly came out with a "constitution" making the military wholly independent of any civilian pseudo-government, and giving itself the power to make laws. (That should come in handy, since the Mubarak high court, still in power, just disbanded the Parliament by fiat, leaving no legislative body in the country,) Just before the "winner" of the Presidential "election" is determined ,the generals have also let it be known that the new "President" will be virtually powerless. (That's fair, after all, whoever it is, the Muslim Brotherhood guy or Mubarak's Prime Minister, isn't a general! Can't have a "President" with dictatorial powers, like Mubarak/Sadat/Nasser had, if he isn't even a general- or at least a colonel.)

Having already imprisoned 10,000 political prisoners after mock "trials" in military "courts" AFTER the removal of Mubarak, there should have been no doubt that the military still rules Egypt- and it shows no sign of allowing that to change. Its dismantling of the U.S. "democracy" organizations in Egypt was a shot across to bow of the U.S. in this regard, an omen of the generals' intentions.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

How The Walker “Win” In Wisconsin Bodes Ill For The U.S. Economy

Illegitimate Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker “won” a recall election (by spending only seven times as much as his Democratic challenger’s backers). He got 53% of the vote. Very impressive.(1)

Now the GOP will be validated in their destructive economic policies. More cuts in Government spending, more loss of Government jobs.

 GOP demagogues screech that unless “spending” is slashed (but ONLY on human needs- the GOP is already double-crossing the Democrats on the “cuts” [smaller increases] in the military budget) and taxes on the rich are cut, the U.S. will end up like Greece. Actually what the GOP is going to do will push the U.S. down the Greek path. An economic death spiral of cutting Government spending, causing a shrinking economy, which in turn shrinks Government revenues, thus increasing Government deficits, leading to more slashes in Government spending and activity, further shrinking the economy and revenues, further, etc. The GOP “medicine” is poison, and as the patient gets sicker and sicker, the GOP will pour more poison down the patient’s gullet.  Paul Krugman has been making this case, but it seems as if he’s yelling into the wind. He points out that the U.S. can borrow money at record low interest rates, making it a good time to borrow in order to stimulate the economy via Government spending. The state governments especially are in dire need of funding. Their deficits, cuts, and mass firings have created a huge economy drag, more than offsetting the paltry job creation in “the private sector.”

This election result underlines, once again, the decrepit, enervated state of organized labor- unions- in the U.S. (Unions made a big push in the recall campaign.) A lot of this is because unions were long ago captured by the worst kind of corrupt, phony, sellout, class collaborationist traitors. Just look at the American Institute for Free [sic] Labor Development, which was an unholy alliance of U.S. unions, the CIA, and big corporations designed to kill genuine worker movements abroad (especially in Latin America).  In fact, going back to the days of Samuel Gompers (boss of the AFL, a guild for the labor aristocracy of craftsmen which excluded “unskilled” workers) the U.S. labor movement has been morally corrupt and bankrupt in terms of its values. (Gompers was a militaristic shill during World War I, doing all he could to herd workers into the army.) 

The unions' narrow focus on “bread and butter issues” ignores the important issues of power and control. And by helping destroy workers’ movements in Latin America, the U.S. unions laid the groundwork for the massive immigration into the U.S. of desperately immiserated Latinos, driving down wages in the U.S. for all workers. What a bunch of jackasses these labor bosses are! And since U.S. unionism pits workers against each other, “jobs go overseas” because wages are lower there. Thus has the U.S. labor “movement” (It’s not a movement, it’s a bunch of corrupt, featherbedding union bureaucrats- think the notorious George Meany and his gang, a bunch of notorious Vietnam War hawks to boot- in Gompers’ tradition of feeding the workers into the Imperialist war meat grinder- or Albert “Chancre” Shanker, another nasty Vietnam War promoter.)

If workers were represented on corporate boards, as they are in Germany, for example, could pirate speculators like Mitt Romney swoop in and destroy productive companies? (The pirate method is to swoop in, “buy” the company, laden it with debt to pay themselves back for buying it, in effect making the victim company buy itself, slash payroll and investment to produce quick profits for themselves from cash flow, then let the torpedoed ship sink. Alternatively they sell off the company after slashing workers. This is called “increasing efficiency and productivity,” i.e. slave-driving. Power is what matters, not a few cents an hour more in wages. 

Of course, hardly any U.S. workers outside of the governments (Federal, state, local) are unionized anymore. That’s the workers’ fault for not organizing themselves. And for not getting rid of politicians who enact laws that attack their economic and class interests. (Like cynically deceptively misnamed "Right To Work" laws, and the Taft-Hartley anti-labor law, never overturned in decades, even when Democrats had overwhelming majorities in Congress. But like a beaten wife, the unions loyally stick by the Democratic Party of Big Business.)  

But then, class-unconscious sheep can hardly be expected to organize themselves, now can they? And organized labor won’t talk about class and the class interests of the people they purport to represent. That would be “Marxist,” and hence “UnAmerican.” Insofar as “American” is reactionary and fanatically pro-capitalist, that part is true.

Now a word on polls. As the polls “predicted” Walker’s win, we would be “paranoid” and “conspiracy theorists” to question the vote. Given the large number of reactionaries in the U.S., (and Wisconsin did give us Senator Joe McCarthy, after all), Walker may well have won without having to steal votes this time, like the GOP did to keep Prosser on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a necessary step in ramming through the GOP’s legislative agenda. Yet when exit polls- the most reliable kind of poll- showed that John Kerry won in Ohio in 2004, and the GOP stole the election, we were told to pay no attention to those polls.

1)      I call him illegitimate because he’s nothing but an agent for plutocrats like the Koch brothers, who fund him and to whom he answers. The fact that stupid people who aren’t rich vote against their own class interests doesn’t legitimize an oligarchy. As far as his election victory, it was hardly a fair election. Outspending one’s opponent over sevenfold* would seem to virtually guarantee a win, as propaganda has been proven over centuries to be an effective method of mind control and manipulation. People are mainly non-rational, emotional, and irrational beings. That is why propaganda is so effective. Logic and facts are very weak persuaders by comparison. (Although propaganda also uses selected facts and specious logic in a tendentious fashion, to create sophistry.) I would note that the media has downplayed this gigantic money and propaganda advantage.  This is done to legitimize Walker and by extension GOP economic dogma and attacks on the working class. Unfortunately most people do not realize they are in fact members of the working class. They think they’re something called “middle class,” an amorphous and virtually meaningless term that refers to the bulk of the income scale. This class unconsciousness on the part of the masses of sheep is what allows the rich to wage one-sided class warfare virtually unopposed.

*About seven and a half to eight and a half times, actually. Walker spent $30-34 million, Barrett, the lame Democrat opponent, $4 million. But “outsider” spending, i.e. money spent on their behalf outside their campaigns, by late May came to roughly $45.6 million for Walker, vs. about $17.9 million for Mr. Barrett, a mere two and a half times as much; this according to data from the “Wisconsin Democracy Campaign,” a “nonpartisan”  group that tracks spending. (“Nonpartisan” means not aligned with either of the two parties that count in U.S. politics because they hold a monopoly on political power, enforced by non-proportional representation and winner-take-all elections, unlike in Europe, where there is representation for many more people than in the U.S.)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Brace For Another Stolen Election In Wisconsin

In April 2011 the Wisconsin GOP stole a recall election for State Supreme Court Judge David "The Strangler" Prosser. (Prosser choked a female State Supreme Court Judge- a Democrat- in chambers.) Oddly, only the website of rightwing plutocrat magazine Forbes covered this.

Now, if the millions of plutocrat dollars buying saturation advertising for their stooge Governor, Scott Walker, isn't enough, it will be close enough to enable them to steal this election too. As the Democrats and their auxiliaries such as the gangs centered around the magazines The Nation and The Progressive always roll over and play dead when the GOP steals elections, the GOP has no reason to fear. Since Dems and their lackeys are gutless, and fear for delegitimizing the system by exposing election stealing, the GOP will never be deterred from this behavior. (Recall they stole the Presidential elections in 2000 and 2004. Yes, 2004. See what they did in Ohio.)

"Questions Surround Votes Found [sic!] In Waukesha County," Forbes online, 4/7/11.

"Something Smells In Waukesha County, Wisconsin-- And It's Not The Cheese," Forbes online, 4/13/11.

"Wisconsin Set To Disenfranchise Likely Democratic Party Voters," Forbes online, 5/10/11.