Sunday, March 27, 2011

How a Typical Liberal Supports U.S. Military Empire

In a piece in the New York Times, Gregory Johnsen demonstrates how intellectual liberals typically justify military imperialism on behalf of their own societies.  There can be little doubt that such justifications are never acceptable when invoked by others. 

The author calls attention to his position and NYT article in another blog, explaining that "the US can no longer put its momentary security interests ahead of its values in Yemen."

The author has a conception of “US values” that appears profoundly disconnected from both the long-standing US government strategic priorities and our current political realities.
  
In the NYT’s piece, Johnson states: “The United States and its international allies will have a limited window of opportunity to get things right in Yemen.” Note the presumption that meddling in Yemen is a responsibility of the US, as if Yemen were a vassal state. The conceptualization that the US effectively owns the world does appear deeply ingrained throughout the domestic mass media and intellectual culture. Government policy papers justify the principle quite explicitly as correct and proper.

AFAICT in this case however, the author shows no appreciation of the mandatory obligations upon US policy-makers to please the gigantic, politically invulnerable arms industry, which needs terrorist enemies, wars, and oppressive governments to secure profits (if not survival) for their corporate members. Other organizations require security for accessing markets, obtaining resources, or using locations on terms and conditions more favorable than that which democratic societies can guarantee. US government interests therefore, lie in providing an appearance of supporting democracy for marketing and PR purposes, while undermining it in practice in favor of security for business. The overwhelming advantages available from such an approach, despite the inevitable risks of an occasional 9-11 attack, are irresistible and rational to those who seek to maximize profitability and market share, most prominently in our culture: semi-capitalist corporations.

Urging development aid as a “strategic investment to defeat the current generation of terrorists and to prevent the formation of future ones” seems indistinguishable from utopian propaganda, based on the recommendation’s disregard for feasibility, and its value in providing comfortable “we tried” reassurances of the US’s noble “values”, even as the author notes the huge allocation disparity between military and humanitarian resource. Might such allocation be considered evidence of US values? I think it is, at least it seems a much better indicator of priorities than official proclamations, which are always virtuous.

Since the driving forces of official US policy also happen to be the businesses that provide ad revenue and profit to the NYT, serious analysis of, and outrage against the root causes for such widespread and unnecessary death and suffering will remain comfortably unexamined in their pages for the foreseeable future, although this should not be considered anything unusual, as similar dynamics operate upon all organizations in the mass media.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Impeachment for Gov. Walker Out of the Question?

Not that democrats are any better, but the naked deliberateness of this  Tea-publican deception is amazing. 

The New York Times this morning carried this ad: 
If you like him, (as a person? I do), but the duplicity is truly astonishing in this "poll" apparently designed to prop up the billionaire Koch brothers' favorite governor in their class warfare schemes.

As a scientist, I believe in testing theories and attempting to disprove them.  In this case, my theory that this is deceptive propaganda for economic and social warfare would be disproven if the results were generally reported as "Of people who said they liked Scott Walker, X percent said they support him", or "believe unions have become to powerful", etc.

The current results of people who indicated they "like" Gov. Walker answer Question 1 as follows:
 
Note the defensive, passive portrayal of "efforts to reduce the power".  Who could be against that?  In addition, the answers have no relevance to the question, which is about "Walker's efforts", not Walker himself.  The answers are about whether the respondent supports "him", not the "efforts".

One has to wonder whether these respondents know that the Governor claimed "we" considered inserting "troublemakers" into the peaceful citizens exercising their free speech rights to petition his administration with their objection to his efforts to reduce citizen's constitutional rights of free speech and right to petition their government, in addition to secure the blessings of liberty and promote the general welfare of their communities.

Do the "supporters" know that the only objection the Governor raised was that "people are so sick of it"?  He was not worried about anyone being hurt, nor that the safety of police and/or medical personnel might be at additional risk.  Apparently the Governor was not concerned about borrowing the tactics of the worst tyrants currently being overthrown around the world rather, if exposed, "people" would react badly.  Despite my emotional inclination personally, seriously considering risking citizen's safety to deceive people and smear those with an honest disagreement strikes me as worthy of impeachment, and possible removal from office.  It might even discourage future attempts to subvert our quasi-democracy by powerful elites, like billionaires.

The first question leads well toward getting the "right" (wing) answer to the 2nd by assuming "the power of public employee unions".  It remains all but impossible to believe that the Yes responses below resulted from examining evidence:
 
Again: note the wording above.  It isn't saying unions are bad, merely implying that somehow they "have become too powerful", using the passive voice. 

I consider evidence of "too much power" indicated when powerful are able to extract greater benefits from taking advantage or actually harming the weaker in violation of the Code of Hammurabi, pursuing what Adam Smith called "the vile maxim of the masters of mankind", i.e.: "All for ourselves, and nothing for anyone else".

Of one thing we can be fairly certain: the results of Question 3 will be treated very differently by both Fox News and the "liberal" MSNBC since these percentages came out ideologically incorrectly, which is to say: they do not support greater power for billionaires…
 
I will be interested to see the results of the upcoming trial results.  Will my theory be falsified?  Please post comments or email with any media reports you come across.

Aspen Music Festival: Music with a View Concert

Distinguished theory and performance teacher provides expert knowledge during " Music with a View "at the Aspen Art Museum