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The Government, the People and the Status Quo
Saturday, 13 December 2008 21:08
by Timothy V. Gatto

The Government

I have been writing about what has been taking place in my country for awhile now. At first, I believed that it was the Neo-Cons, the same ones that belonged to “A Project for a New American Century” that had gained important posts within the administration of George W. Bush. I looked at these people as ethnocentric ideologues that put America first, along with a plan for World domination. I still believe that but my view of what is really happening dwarfs that point of view. It isn’t just the hard line neo-cons that share a vision of a planet that has American De Facto rule, it’s unfortunately most of the people that have resided in the halls of power for entirely too long.

This brings me to how I came to believe this. I started to realize how the government really worked when I started to look at the donations each politician receives and where these donations came from. From that point onward, it was really not that difficult to see what corporations and groups had a vested interest in certain political races. The last few months have shown to be a perfect example of what money can do when channeled into key political campaigns. We all have been privy to this farce that the government calls a “bailout”, but has it ever occurred to anyone to look at the campaign donations to key legislators that preceded this corporate welfare? If one were to go to www.opensecrets.org, you will find the recipients of most of the bailout money on the top twenty lists of campaign finance donors. It’s no big surprise to see their beneficiaries of their campaign donations lining up to save their businesses.

The war machine is a product not only of the neo-cons, but it’s an endemic part of our entire economy. Just about the only thing that this nation manufactures that is desired by other nations are our weapons of war produced by the military industrial complex. This is one sector that has not been outsourced by greedy CEO’s that run large manufacturing firms. The reason for the defense contractors staying in the United States is simply that the law will not let them produce classified material overseas and they are stuck in the United States. This is how our largest industries have morphed into becoming nothing but manufacturers of weapons of war.

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Another part of the military industrial equation is that it’s impossible to keep the amount of people involved in the designing and manufacture of military hardware for export alone. There is far too much of an output of planes, tanks and other weapons. It’s come to the point where our own nation must purchase the lion’s share of these products in order that the defense contractors have enough customers. This had led to the single most equipped Armed Force in the history of the world. This also leads to a certain amount of hubris. After the fall of the Soviet Union, we were effectively the only superpower on Earth.

This did not fall on deaf ears. There were those in the highest reaches of government that would not neglect to seize the opportunity to project our will onto the rest of the world. There is much more to World domination than just keeping the military industrial complex which has become sort of a jobs program, a corporate welfare system for lack of a better word, no, it’s all about control of resources and control of the markets. Make no mistake, pride and hubris are at the very top of the list of why America does the things that it does on the world’s stage.

Dissent in America is virtually non-existent. The media has been bought and paid for many years ago; the newscasts hardly mention events outside of the United States. Most Americans know nothing about the Israeli genocide against the Palestinians that are unfortunate enough to live in Gaza. We turn a blind eye to Zimbabwe and Mugabe’s rule of torture or the situation in Darfur. These stories never make headlines in the U.S. media. The majority of Americans know nothing about how the rest of the World operates. Our “news” is self-directed, and there are is a large percentage of the people in this country that couldn’t pick out countries like Pakistan, Iraq and Iran off a map. The hard fact is that our news is censored. This has been one of the reasons that this so-called “War on Terror” has emerged as our number one foreign policy mission. The constant reminders of terrorist attacks, cataclysmic events and crime keep this nation perpetually in fear. This is part of the steps that a government takes to close an open society, “To create an internal and external threat”. So far it has worked as well as can be expected. War on terror indeed, if people really took the time to understand the true nature of that phrase, they would realize that a war on terror cannot be won. There will always be terror and there will always be terrorists. This is an open-ended commitment in much the same way as the War on Drugs. We will continue to find terrorists throughout the world. Is it our duty to eliminate them all? When we propose to do this by indiscriminately bombing men women and children as “suspected terrorists”, we only increase people’s hatred of us and therefore incite others to terrorism. It would be a far better approach to demand that those governments that condone terrorism face sanctions from a strong UN and not from a bellicose American government. True coalitions of like minded nations can do a better job of ridding the world of militant terrorism than we can by spreading our soldiers thinly throughout the world as we are doing now. There is another view, and that is turning them away from terrorism toward hope by foreign aid that would help them to join the community of nations that manufacture goods and educate their young.

Today the American government is attempting to run the banks, the insurance companies, the investment banks, the brokerage houses, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac along with the “Big Three” automakers. This is outside their province. Almost all of the industries and financial entities brought this on themselves. Our nation is rewarding bad behavior with a seemingly unlimited supply of money. The first bailout had the people against it 100 to 1, yet the government managed to convince the legislators to lend the financial world 800 billion dollars. Wouldn’t it have been better to let these irresponsible companies find their own way to finance their mistakes, or at least put some meaningful oversight on money that was lent to them? Halfway through the bailout, Secretary Paulson shifted direction by claiming that money to help taxpayers avoid foreclosures would be better spent greasing the wheels to enable bankers to offer credit again. That was over a month ago and we are still seeing a credit freeze while millions more Americans are facing foreclosure. Twenty-five Billion dollars was given to Bank of America and they in turn, bought Merrill Lynch with their new found wealth. When are the American people going to see this for what it is, an intricate shell game, a pyramid scheme and a way to separate the US Government and its people from their money?

The point is that we can throw money at the institutions. If they refuse to change their business models, if they don’t start to act as responsible corporate partners with the Federal government in this new age of socialized business, they should be cut from the Federal government’s welfare rolls.

The People

The people of the United States have become sometimes become uncaring and at other times they have felt powerless to change the course of our nation. Most Americans are trying hard to support their families and pay the bills that they have amassed and have no time for political thought. This leaves people like me and other writers to bring up the subjects that the mainstream media won’t. It seems that there are only a small number of writers that bring out salient facts that the citizens ought to know. The major networks have all been usurped by powerful corporate interests that don’t want or need any coverage that may hurt their bottom line. The majority of people don’t seem to care what happens as long as they can continue to live the life that they are accustomed too.

Americans, for the most part are particularly insulated people. We might have the newest communication gadgets, but we move in very small circles. We have our co-workers, our family and our friends. Neighbors hardly know each other anymore. We are addicted to television, and that gives us our news, our entertainment and it consumes hours that could have been spent in more constructive ways. The gigantic flaw that television has is that it portrays a world that could be, not a world as it is. Very rarely do we see a soldier’s head blown off or a sickened, malnourished child die in a refugee camp.

Do we want to see scenes like this? Of course not, that kind of reporting would be considered “tasteless”. We can pay to watch it in the movies, but showing footage of the real thing would cause many Americans to rethink what our leaders are doing. The fact is that the news most people see on television is manipulated in order for the people to continue to fund the wars our government has become so fond of.

Our government has declared many of our constitutional rights null and void. The first amendment has been shredded. If we want to demonstrate, we must demonstrate in a 1st Amendment zone especially designed to keep protesters out of the limelight of the event they are protesting. Reporters are censored and their stories are “sanitized” for public consumption. It wouldn’t bode well to see the body bags from Iraq and Afghanistan beings brought home on transport planes like so many sacks of potatoes. Just as when the streets of Baghdad were littered with bodies from the violence of the night before just a year ago, we won’t be privy to the real nature of war. To most Americans war is a game to be played on the global stage. The personal nature of war is nowhere to be found unless you are part of a family that has lost a loved one fighting wars that are for the most part fought for resources. Magnify this thousands-fold and you just may see how those that are caught in the battlefields of the world are feeling. Staying alive is the goal, not paying their credit cards or gassing up their vehicles or how their 401K plans are doing.

We have become a nation, not of builders or visionaries, but of consumers. Our social conscience is at an all-time low. Many people are not just ignorant of what is being done by their government; they know only too well what is being done in the name of the American people, they just don’t want to hear it. The standard excuse is “What can I do about it? Or “I know what is happening but I’m far too busy to get involved”. Others say that that they just don’t believe what they are hearing because they didn’t hear it on television. The truth, even though most don’t want to believe it, what goes around comes around and that we will deserve what we get.

The Status Quo

This is probably the most important part of this article. The truth of the matter is that nobody can accurately determine what the status quo will be. Our government is printing up fiat money as if the world will honor our money even though we cannot pay our debts in the world economy. The United States has only one thing that most other nations do not… the preeminent military on the face of the planet. This is our bargaining chip. That and a clandestine service (the CIA) which could foster rebellion in any country that decides not to take our dollars.

With American spending power on the wane (even the most bullish financial people have to agree), we can no longer fund our overseas adventures the way we used to. The world is becoming multi-lateral again. No longer will the United States become the unilateral financial and military power on earth. This is something that Americans must gird for. No longer will cheap manufactured goods continue to come from China and third world countries to line the shelves of American merchants. There will be other nations that are in a far better position to import these goods.

The Detroit preeminence in automobile manufacturing will become just a memory to be noted in history textbooks, much like our steel industry. Automobiles will still be made in the U.S., but they will be made by foreign owned companies and smaller companies salvaged from the collapse of the Big Three. The idea of higher education will be something that only the rich will be able to consider. Running for office will only be a viable choice for the people with connections to the two corporate-led political parties. This nation will become the antithesis of what The Peoples Republic of China has become, a communist country with a free-market economy. We will claim to be a capitalist nation that has a socialist business model.

We can turn this country around; in fact we must turn this country around and fast before it’s too late. It will take the citizens of this nation to reject the status quo. We must bring back the manufacturing sector and not just for producing automobiles and weapons but for all of the products Americans purchase. We must break free of our dependence on fossil fuels that add to global warming and which makes our detractors rich. We need mass transit, government sponsored home loans and health care for everyone. We need less expensive or free higher education so as to keep up with the world. We need Americans to become involved in the day to day operations of this country and to make their desires known to our “representatives” in Washington. Most of all we need to break the matrix of the two corporate political parties that are NOT acting in the peoples interests. We need real campaign fiancée reform so that corporate interests cannot dictate who will represent us. The only way to do this is to use Federal Campaign funds and donations from the people.

I don’t believe we have much time to accomplish these things. We had better get started. When you talk to those you know, tell them that it is a matter of giving up everything they wish to keep and the things that they wish to surrender. It’s that simple.

email Timgatto@hotmail.com and see Tim's blog here - http://liberalpro.blogspot.com

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