Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Emperor Obama Graciously Grants His Subjects An Extra 24 Hours to Buy Mandatory Health Insurance

Nice. He had a couple of years to make sure the Federal website where citizens he is forcing to buy health insurance at their own expense can go to shop for it. (This is the “progressive” Democrats version of “universal health care,” forcing everyone to buy their own insurance if they don't have employer insurance or a government program.) As we all know, despite all this time to get ready, the Federal site was a total bust when it went live October 1st.

Next, he set a promised date of November 30th for the site to be fixed. It wasn't, unsurprisingly.

Finally they got the “front end” working, but the “back end,” the part of the computer system that informs the private insurance companies Obama is forcing people to buy insurance from that people “signed up,” doesn't reliably work. The “solution?” Telling people to call the insurers directly to make sure they're covered. That's it, make people run on an endless treadmill.

Anyway, today's the new deadline to sign up. A guy who can't meet his own deadlines imposes deadlines on millions of others.

Obama's self-avowed “signature achievement,” Obamacare (a term for the “Affordable [sic] Health Care Act law that he has adopted himself as a badge of honor), has shown Obama at his natural, high-handed worse. (Well, maybe I shouldn't say “worse.” There is his reaction to the exposure of the NSA-CIA-FBI police state, his drone assassination “policy,” and a lot more. So there's a lot of competition for the title, “Worst,” here.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Assad Terror Regime's Latest Crimes

Assad's newest terror weapon: barrels of explosives, packed with nails and other such crude shrapnel (of the type terrorists such as the Boston Marathon bombers and others employ) and dropping them out of helicopters onto Aleppo. Among the targets: schools (a favorite Assad target, which he also likes to firebomb) markets, traffic circles; in other words, where people, especially young people, congregate and can be slaughtered in significant numbers. About 200 people have been killed in one day of such attacks in Aleppo, which along with Damascus is one of Syria's two major cities. Assad's terror air force is now flying 100 sorties a day.

The regime also just murdered a doctor they had held in captivity (and no doubt tortured) for months, days after cruelly telling his family he was about to be released. The regime is big on psycho-sadistic touches like that. (The doctor's “crime” was treating people wounded by the Assad barbarians who lived in areas Assad lost control of.)

The country has been virtually destroyed at this point. Actual physical starvation is confronting many Syrians now. A few days ago 8 infants froze to death, their families having been driven from their homes.

Yes yes, the rebels have at times retaliated by killing Alawites and Druze, on the assumption that they support the regime. And the jihadists have now exerted supremacy over the original rebels. But this situation has been over two years in the making. I notice the Saudis and their Gulf satellites aren't shy about backing the jihadists with arms and money, making the indigenous rebels no match for them. The jihadists have been killing off the rebel commanders of the disjointed so-called “Free Syrian Army” (for lack of a better term for the numerous ad hoc bands of armed men desperately trying to throw off the yoke of tyranny) and just stole a warehouse full of non-lethal supplies and vehicles supplied by the U.S., causing the U.S. to cut off the spigot out of which they belatedly started dribbling aid this year after about two years of dithering. (After he leaves the presidency maybe Obama should try out for a community theater production of Hamlet.)

Remember, this all began with Syrians protesting for democracy and the Assad regime's “reply” that consisted of murdering them in the streets. That made it clear that the decades-long Assad dictatorship, one of the world's most repressive, would never end except through armed force. That led to the armed rebellion which at first had the regime on the back foot. Had the U.S. and its lackey nations meaningfully supported the rebellion with material aid early on, there is a very good chance that the regime would have been overthrown.(The base of Assad's support are the Alawites, which are a small minority of the population, and even smaller minorities that feel beholden to Assad.)

Here we have again another example of how impractical amoral power politics can be. Had the U.S. behaved morally, the practical results would likely have been better. Now the U.S.' main reason for keeping hands off the situation (but not lips off, they did plenty of jawboning and jabbering, exhorting Assad to quit and leave, as if that would ever happen short of force), namely a fear of jihadists taking advantage of the situation, is exactly what has happened, since the indigenous, original rebels are too weak to resist the better armed, better organized, and fanatical jihadists. (But to be sure, there were plenty of opportunist phonies sitting in Turkey and elsewhere claiming to “command” the “Syrian Free Army” or to comprise a quasi government-in-exile, who hurt the rebellion with their fecklessness.)

Funny species, homo sapiens is. It wages weird power struggles with its own kind, a few trying to rule the many, and then organizing the many to attack others to seize more territory and subjugate more people. This is the story of several thousands of years of what is deemed “civilization.” (As if hunter gatherers were barbaric by comparison.)

What is the answer? Surely not to just throw up one's hands in despair, or affect a jaded, world-weary attitude, as epitomized by the Harper's magazine editorial stance, or by the late Gore Vidal. The hard work of activism and organization is the only possible way to achieve any progress in the human condition. Which- surprise!- the rulers of every country make as hard as possible. And with their massive tools of surveillance and repression, this is especially true of the U.S., which sees it as its global mission to snuff out all progressive movements everywhere in the world.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

ANC Asked Schizophrenic Man to be Sign Translator At Farewell Ceremony for Mandela

Turns out the bogus sign language translator the African National Congress ruling party came up with for the big political show they staged to mark the death of Nelson Mandela, the iconic former ANC leader and first post-apartheid president of South Africa, is a diagnosed schizophrenic with a self-admitted history of violence. You'd think that wouldn't be so hard to ascertain, by, say, a records check, or talking to people who knew him. You'd also think that a national government would already have a list of reliable translators they'd used before, or could call a reputable organization of deaf people or that serves the death to find someone. [1] But I guess the farewell ceremony for the head of the liberation struggle, the political giant who led the ushering in of the post-apartheid era, the man on whom the ANC rests its very legitimacy today, just didn't seem very important to the ANC hacks who run the country now. The ANC couldn't even get it together to provide promised buses to take the people they misrule to the site of the ceremony.

For the televised ceremony (watched by an estimated hundreds of millions), attended by thousands in person (the stadium where the event was staged seats 93,000), the “translator” provided “a mush of jibberish” in the words of the BBC, meaningless hand gestures for the deaf. An ANC government mouthpiece offed this excuse; “he became overwhelmed,” she said. Actually he's mentally ill. And as I said yesterday, I think he was seeking attention.

Now he's running around giving media interviews, explaining his behavior by saying “angels” “visited” him on stage, hallucinations that are a sure sign of mental illness (or of acceptable religious fanaticism). The BBC sees one important issue as being; was he a security threat to nearby political poobahs, in particular Obama?

The BBC put the fool schizoid on the radio, giving him more of the attention he apparently craves. Who cares what this moron mental case says? (I can tell you it was uninformative and unedifying, predictably. But in the age of celebrity culture, the media makes instant celebrities even of mentally ill hustlers like this.)

The BBC wastes a lot of time with pointless filler like this. Since they fired so many of their journalists, they do a lot of that these days. (They also use up hours with guests opining on the day's news, another way to save money- they don't have to pay the gabheads who leap at the free exposure, nor pay to fill up time with actual reporting.)

Just to make the day perfect, the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu was burglarized while he was at the observance for Mandela. A perfect symbol of the anarchy, social breakdown, and incredibly high crime rate in the slowly-decaying country.

The following essay, posted yesterday, already said the rest of what needs to be said about this episode and the publicity event staged to promote and glorify the ANC, foreign politicians, and celebrities, who got to bathe in the reflected moral stature of Mandela.

1] In fact, the Johannesburg advocacy group DeafSA pointed out that the fraudster's mimicry bore no relation to actual sign language- in other words, his acting out couldn't pass as a credible imitation for five seconds. Yet this guy was given security clearance and a pass to stand on the stage near the various “world leaders” speechifying for the alleged edification of the global masses and perform his insulting pantomime.

                                                                  Two Phonies on a Stage

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fecklessness and Incompetence of ANC On Vivid Display At Mandela Ceremony

There was a tawdry reminder of the ANC's lack of qualifications to govern at the farewell ceremony for the just-deceased Nelson Mandela.  The "sign language interpreter" on stage for the benefit of deaf spectators was nothing of the sort. He was a fraud, a sleazebag who made meaningless hand gestures pretending to be signing. Apparently this asshole just wanted to get his worthless ass on the stage as a cheap ego trip for himself. Pretty unbelievable that such a thing could occur. Mandela's death is probably the most significant event in South Africa since he stepped down from the presidency.

You'd think that the government could at least have basic competence when staging a major farewell ceremony for Nelson Mandela. Political bosses from around the world, including the president of the super-duper power, the U.S., and three of his predecessors, were on hand.

But the ANC's current bosses are too corrupt, venal, and amoral to be embarrassed. Like all too many African rulers in the post-colonial period, they are nothing but racketeers posing as legitimate politicians and even "statesmen." It's a sad and despicable betrayal of the hopes of millions of those they now misrule.

The ANC's achievements to date include doubling the number of people living on a dollar a day, and massacreing striking mine workers, apartheid-regime-style, and then lying about it. (An atrocity now forgotten in Western media.) 

The ANC's poobahs of course have made a huge production out of Mandela's demise, selfishly milking it for all the reflected political glory on themselves they can. Considering what political pygmies they are in comparison to Mandela, this is especially disgusting. The current president, Jacob Zuma, is so loathed that he was actually booed while speaking at the event, despite the reverence the people have for Mandela. Zuma is a rapist and polygamist who fancies himself a superstud, and worthless at governing, except to enrich himself to the tune of millions. His latest scandal is a huge expenditure of government funds installing luxuries at his private home. His predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, a venal hack, is most notable for denying that HIV is the cause of AIDS and promoting quack "theories" and "cures" for the disease. Speaking of which, Zuma thinks he inoculated himself from the disease by showering after sex.

Other self-serving parasites at the Mandela memorial were various global "celebrities" and "world leaders" (political bosses past and present) on hand for a bit of political necrophilia to bathe themselves in the waters of Mandela's moral authority, now that they all agree he was Great. (This is a recent position for the U.S., which didn't get around to taking him off its "terrorist" list until 2008. Oh, and it was the CIA that enabled the apartheid regime to arrest him in 1962, giving the regime's secret police his whereabouts and description. But don't tell anyone- apparently that's supposed to be a secret, given the U.S. media and politicians' refusal to acknowledge the fact.)

They aren't there to "honor" Mandela. They're there to promote themselves, most of them. This spectacle of self-regard is called "the World Says Farewell To Mandela" by the New York Times, the Newspaper of Record for the American haute bourgeoisie.

One of the few who has a right to be there, is Raul Castro. Cuba actually supported the struggle against apartheid, unlike the U.S. And Cuba sent troops to fight the South African apartheid army when it invaded Angola. (Guess which side the U.S. was on.) The excuse now is that it was "during the Cold War," which apparently justifies all. (Nowadays the "war on terror" justifies anything and everything the Masters of the World want to do.) Of course, U.S. reactionary politicians like Ted Cruz and Ileana Ross-Lehtinen threw fits because Obama politely shook Castro's hand on stage instead of being a rude lout at a memorial ceremony.

At least Mandela isn't here to see these shameless political necrophiliacs strutting about on "the world stage."

                                                           Famous  Celebrities Preening At Mandela Death Event

                                                                       Mass Murderers Waving At the Cameras

Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela, a Great Leader, Is Dead. Western Establishment Fawns in Bad Faith

First, it must be said, that what was unusual and outstanding about Nelson Mandela was his magnanimity towards the white racist fascist scum that killed and maimed so many people and caused such misery and oppression. At least, that's the Official Truth nowadays. But perhaps Mandela was a super-cool pragmatist, a man with ice water in his veins who could put aside emotion and view a political situation in the utmost objectivity. Or perhaps he was a cynical operator, who cut a deal enabling the African National Congress to take power from the white racist Boers. Those are also possible explanations, especially in view of his own behavior as President and the selfishness and corruption of the ANC in power. (By all accounts, the economic lot of the mass of black people in South Africa has improved not at all since the overthrow of white racist rule.) We should take with a grain of salt the hosannas of Western media and politicians for the man. If they love him so much, there must be a bad reason.

But let us put such speculations aside for the moment. What has the Western capitalists singing his praises are two main things, one visible and one hidden. The visible reason was the deal Mandela and the ANC struck with the apartheid regime letting them get away with their decades of crimes, which included many acts of murder, torture, and brutality. (Even after Mandela was released from prison in 1990, the apartheid secret police sent a letter bomb to a white priest working against the regime, blowing off both his hands and an eye.)

The covert reason is that Mandela immediately sided with the big capitalists against the class interests of the poor black majority. I will provide more details in a later essay.

Yet it's fair to see Mandela as a great leader. His stature looms especially large since such is the pathetic state of that species that flatters itself by calling itself “humanity” that great leaders are so rare.

Most of the people designated “leaders” are nothing of the kind. They are rulers, or governors. Politicians and strongmen. Mandela was a genuine leader, a man who inspired others to follow him and admire him.

The word “leader” has even been appropriated by the capitalists to replace “boss.” “Boss” now is only used to refer to union officials, as in “union bosses” or “labor bosses.” Read business and company news- you cannot find the word “boss” in reference to actual bosses. They're all “leaders.” Thus is meaning and understanding systematically destroyed by the vandalism of language. Consciousness itself is thus falsified on a mass scale.

So when someone actually is a leader, the contrast makes him appear superhuman.

Now, as to the current bourgeois media and politicians genuflecting to the Man now that he is dead:

Using Half Truths to Lie. We have been treated to yet another example of this common propaganda trick of the bourgeois media. In their incessant reiterations of the fact that Mandela was “imprisoned for 27 years,” a key fact is omitted. Namely, that he was imprisoned for 27 years because THE U.S. CIA TOLD THE SOUTH AFRICAN SECRET POLICE WHERE TO FIND HIM. When you mention that fact, you have a very different impression, a very different picture of reality. Namely the true, accurate, and objective reality, not the cynical, self-serving propaganda version.

Another inconvenient fact which throws the loud praise for the deceased in quite a different light is that Mandela was officially listed by the U.S. Government as a “terrorist” until 2008. Recall that Mandela was freed from prison in 1990, and was elected president of South African in 1994! So of course this rather awkward fact must be erased from memory, and thus it goes unmentioned entirely by the capitalist media without exception. (At least that I have noticed.)

Another inconvenient fact of history, which thus must be suppressed, is that the Boers had the help, until the last few years of their evil rule, of the United States, especially the fascist Reagan regime, and of European powers like “Great” Britain, a loathsome little island whose elite-at least the reactionary section of it- still pines for its lost empire. (They get to be vicarious imperialists by riding on the U.S.' shoulder, like a parrot on a pirate, in its various misbegotten “adventures” such as in Iraq and Afghanistan.) Reagan even vetoed a law passed by Congress imposing sanctions on the horrid apartheid regime (Congress then voted to override the veto.) It was only because of popular political pressure and protest in the U.S. that Congress was forced to act.

I would also like to remind you of a person who once existed, a very brave man, who unlike Mandela receives no lavish praise from the U.S. press- Steven Biko. Biko was also a foe of apartheid, indeed one of the outstanding anti-apartheid activists of the time. At the age of 30, he was arrested, beaten savagely and torture for 22 hours, then thrown, naked, manacled, and comatose, into the back of a truck for a 100 km drive to another prison, where he shortly died from brain injuries. The fascist racists regime that murdered him then put out the grotesquely cynical story that he had killed himself by hunger striking. Some of his writings were posthumously published under the title I Write What I Like.

Biko goes unremembered in the West. Or rather, his memory is suppressed by the same bourgeois propaganda system that cynically hails Nelson Mandela now. As I have described, there's a lot they “don't remember.”