It is a sad thing how many perceive democracy as a stream, flowing gracefully through a green meadow. It was Albert Einstein who said, "God doesn't play dice with the universe" man however does. Every inch of riverbank, every drop of water contrived and placed there and sometimes, its reflection blinds us to it.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures." ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
The death of democracy is no small thing; its mock replacement is but small comfort. Its death comes not by a swords gushing wound, but by paper cuts. The democracy of the locked door and the midnight gavel, but when rights earned by the blood of man, are stripped away, it prophecies that men shall die once again in regaining them.
In 1963, President Kennedy died violently by assassin's bullets, Kennedy had told his brother Robert, the Attorney General that the CIA had tried to trick him into a war with Cuba. Later, during the Cuban missile crisis Kennedy's administration successfully brokered a deal avoiding a third World War, a nuclear third World War. To some however, a nuclear war was preferable to a Communist State only ninety miles from our shores.
Three weeks before the President's assassination in Dallas, Vietnamese generals with the blessing of the CIA assassinated the President of South Vietnam, NgÃ´ ÄÃ¬nh Diá»m in a coup d'etat. Diá»m had been our guy, before his excesses and his incompetence made him not our guy, similar to the way Saddam Hussein was our guy before he wasn't our guy.
"I can scarcely believe the Americans would be so stupid." ~ Ho Chi Minh
The Gulf of Tonkin incident was a fraud; a mere vehicle to justify a war. A horrendous lie perpetrated to deceive the American public into supporting an unnecessary war.
For more than a decade Martin Luther King had worked for civil rights on behalf of African Americans. Many times he had faced death threats and yet, he still lived.
"Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. Aren't you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live." ~ Martin Luther King, April 4, 1967
In one year to the day, Martin Luther King would be shot dead.
"This misconception rests on a second illusion--the illusion that we can win a war which the South Vietnamese cannot win for themselves. You cannot expect people to risk their lives and endure hardship unless they have a stake in their own society. They must have a clear sense of identification with their own government, a belief they are participating in a cause worth fighting for.
People will not fight to line the pockets of generals or swell the bank accounts of the wealthy. They are far more likely to close their eyes and shut their doors in the face of their government--even as they did last week.
More than any election, more than any proud boast, that single fact reveals the truth. We have an ally in name only. We support a government without supporters. Without the efforts of American arms that government would not last a day." ~ Robert F. Kennedy, February 8, 1968
In less than four months, Robert F. Kennedy would be shot dead after winning the California Democratic primary.
"In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.
But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged." ~ Richard Nixon, August 4, 1974
Richard Nixon was a war criminal; if he had faced a Nuremberg docket he would have been hung. Nixon had ordered the bombings of dams and power stations inside of North Vietnam. He had violated American law by secretly bombing and invading Laos and Cambodia and we are then to believe he was removed from power over a bungled burglary?
Beginning in 1970, Nixon began ordering American troops pulled back from border areas of Vietnam. He began to replace land power with air power, but clearly, the program was a failure. In February of 1971, the South Vietnamese began a military operation attempting to cut the Ho Chi Minh trail. It ended disastrously, with South Vietnamese soldiers abandoned their vehicles and hung desperately to the skids of helicopters evacuating the wounded.
By 1971, US troop levels in Vietnam had fallen from 536,000 to less than 200,000 with a deadline to remove 45,000 more before February. A 1972, attack by North Vietnamese forces quickly overran southern provinces illustrating to all the complete ineptitude of South Vietnamese forces.Nixon had placed his bet and he had lost; Gerald Ford assumed the Presidency without popular vote or Electoral College. Richard Nixon had once famously remarked, "If the President does it, it's not illegal." Gerald Ford, in pardoning Richard Nixon, made that statement a truism.
Jimmy Carter had warned America of the dangers of over reliance on fossil fuels, he advocated for peace, while building America's first alternative energy power plants. Carter was fighting a colossus with a wooden sword. During the 1980 Presidential Campaign Carter's debate notes were stolen, eventually ending up in the hands of the Reagan Campaign. The primary suspect in this theft was an Air Force lieutenant named Robert Gates.
The election of Ronald Reagan accelerated America's decline, a massive military build up, accompanied by aggressive military bravado which almost caused a nuclear exchange. While Reagan promised morning in America, he cut taxes for the wealthy and services for the middle class. The Reagan administration even went so far as to reclassify ketchup as a vegetable, in order to cut money spent on the school lunches of poor children.
While cutting funding for education and services to the middle class the money was misspent on billion dollar plastic airplanes and even airplanes, which could barely fly and the refitting WW2 battleships. Incursions into Grenada illustrated America's new belligerence, along with covert wars in Central America. Are you beginning to see where this current will carry us?
"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism." -- Smedley Butler
The Reagan administration also began dismantling the bulwarks which had held the financial Pandora in her box for fifty years. In the process, the administration of Ronald Reagan left behind the largest deficit in history of that time. A deficit financed by American banks, while the standard of living for the Average American began to decline.
George H. W. Bush was the first US President ever to be a career long CIA operative. When the Cuban revolution nationalized oil wells, they belonged to George H. W. Bush. E. Howard Hunt of Watergate fame was the CIA Miami station chief during the Bay of Pigs. It was strange indeed, that after the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, on March 30, 1981 just 69 days into the Reagan Presidency, the relationship between the Bush's and the Reagan's strangely cooled.
"He reads much;
He is a great observer and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit
That could be moved to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
And therefore are they very dangerous." ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
The first Gulf War to remove Saddam Hussein was ala Diá»m, the invasion of Panama and the removal of Manuel Noriega who was also our guy before he wasn't. Noriega had nationalized Panamanian banks where the CIA had considerable assets. Manuel Noriega had worked for the CIA for thirty years and had worked closely with George H. W. Bush. Noriega insists to this day that it was his refusal to meet Oliver North's demands to assist the Nicaraguan Contras as the actual basis for the U.S. campaign to oust him. Personally, I think it had more to do with the CIA's involvement with a white powder which flooded American streets during the 1980's and made very wealthy people, even wealthier.
William Jefferson Clinton was a "New Democrat" Aka moderate Republican. He was elected on a poor economy and a weak Bush presidency, out of step with the public. Bush's was an error of style rather than of substance. Future administrations learned it was better to offer meaningless platitudes and empty programs than to just say "We're working on it." It was the Bush administration which began negotiating the North American Free Trade Act and the Clinton administration which promoted it and signed it into law and thus made international corporations co- equals with elected governments. It was also during this administration that the Glass -- Steagall Act was repealed, opening the financial floodgates and letting Pandora out of her box. In the words of William Jefferson Clinton "the Glass--Steagall law is no longer appropriate."
"Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income." ~ CIA World Fact Book
US Taxes and other revenues - 15.5 % of GDP or lower tax rates than 191 other nations. Lower than Norway, Denmark, Finland, France, Sweden, Greenland, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Austria, Ecuador, Italy, Croatia, Netherlands, Bolivia, Oman, Portugal, Germany, Iceland, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and Japan, need I go on?
Yes, but we're told lower taxes bring us jobs, right?
US Investment (gross fixed) 12.1% of GDP which is 144th in the world behind, China (46.2%) Morocco (30.6%) Iran (27.6%) and even Bangladesh (25.0%)
US budget deficit 8.7 % of GDP (2011 est.) in comparison to the rest of the world 192nd.
US Exports - $1.497 trillion (2011 est.)
US Imports - $2.236 trillion (2011 est.) in comparison to the rest of the world, we're number one in the world in importing goods.
George W. Bush never won a presidential election in his life. He took office once through court manipulation and once through, out and out subversion of the electoral process. Bush was a drunken buffoon, a dancing monkey designed to keep us amused, while evil little men continued their policy of scorched Earth against American families and workers. Senseless wars and reckless economic policy with plunder as their ends. Stupendous weapons systems bringing only more war and more poverty. If ever a man needed to be loaded into a rocket ship and fired into the sun it is this one, to cleanse the face of the earth of his stain.
Barack Obama is a corporate mouthpiece, a marionette, vapid, vacant and verbose. He is a man on the clock, doing precisely what he is told to do, an overseer, doing his corporate master's bidding.
Free Trade deals, Citizen's United, NAFTA, the USA Patriot Act, the TSA, all small bends in the river flowing onward towards industrial barbarism, economic serfdom and ecological disaster. It is in this light we should inspect the wreckage of democracy in Michigan, where the state works for the few and ignores the many, where billionaires buy their way into the State house as black uniformed goons escort the people out. This current carries us down stream and empties us into a black sea of a new dark age.
There is a point, a fundamental understanding; to know from where we've come harkens to where we shall go.
"For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood: I only speak right on;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know;" ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime." ~ Aristotle