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March Madness and Class War

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opednews.com Headlined to H1 3/5/11

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It is "March Madness" Time In The USA Where The Irrational Is Pedaled as Rational Provoking Intense Polarization And Paralysis

"The worst things get, the harder it is for people to agree on what to do."

By Danny Schechter,  Author, The Crime of Our Time

The term class war has been extricated from the archives of another era, while divisions over the future of the economy have become a battleground in which the adversaries yell at each other, but rarely engage in any discourse with each other in a shared language.

The worst things get, the harder it is for people to agree on what to do.

This is a month known in the USA for the "March madness" college basketball finals, but the madness seems now to be oozing from sports arenas to political capitols.

In the Middle East, all the political turmoil will ultimately impact on a regional economy build on the flow and price of oil, contends author/historian Michael Klare:

"Whatever the outcome of the protests, uprisings, and rebellions now sweeping the Middle East, one thing is guaranteed: the world of oil will be permanently transformed.  Consider everything that's now happening as just the first tremor of an oilquake that will shake our world to its core."

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Back in the once thought of as   "stable" United States, the economic crisis has finally spurred a confrontation between right and left with noisy protests following threatened crackdowns on union rights to collective bargaining, and cutbacks on social programs.

Conservatives hype the austerity programs that divided and created chaos in Ireland as the model Americans should be following.

Writes Terrance Heath, " The irony is that the things that the Heritage (Foundation) praises about Ireland's economy are what drove it to the brink of extinction ... Ireland followed the same tax-cutting, deregulating conservative economic path to its misfortune that led America to its own. That Ireland stands as an example of austerity's epic failure, makes it even more mystifying that conservatives keep spotlighting the clearest example of the disastrous impact of conservative economic policy."

Activists in the sweltering heat of Egypt hold up signs praising protesters in Wisconsin while the shivering public workers in the snow of Madison talk about struggling like an Egyptian.

Who would have thunk?

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The poet Yeats once wrote that things fall apart when the center doesn't hold, and his words seem prophetically appropriate to the unraveling now underway in the US with fierce political combat paralyzing the Congress and rhetoric escalating into a realm beyond the rational.

Even as a film won an Academy Award for calling the collapse of the economy an "inside job," there is no consensus on the causes of the financial crisis.

The debate about what to do, and whether or not to punish wrongdoers, rages on even as the media looks away from the consequences--the armies of permanently unemployed and growing foreclosures.  

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

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