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Beached America


#1

Beached America

Robert C. Koehler

For at least the last four decades now I feel like I’ve been living in Beached America: a nation that has lost its values, even as it writhes in violent agitation, inflicting its military on the vulnerable regions of the planet.

It does so in the name of those lost values . . . democracy, freedom, equality. These are just dead words at this point, public relations blather, silently followed by a sigh: yada, yada, yada. Then we send in the drones.


#3

Ayn Rand carries her flag and cross*, what else should we expect?

*for show only, as she was not a believer

(Remember there is a Randian beast only two bumps from the Presidency at this time.)


#4

Thank you Robert, for your words about our Amerika now, and the possibilities shown us in Michael Moore's film. It needs wide viewing, especially at this time, as a companion to the Bernie Sanders campaign.
I, too, was quite struck by the interview with the Norwegian father whose son was murdered by the Neo Nazi. And by the visited countries' citizens, so different from we here in the U.S., in their calm explication of their right to life and liberty and repose, (to even, self-actualization and creativity!) and decent pay, and to their governments' policies reflecting those values.


#5

"Mitch McConnell’s decision to use the Republican Senate majority to block the president’s replacement choice is, he writes, “a bold and understandable gambit designed to prevent a leftward lurch in jurisprudence.”
Couched as 'gambit', the concept from the mind of Hohman and by implication McConnell,expresses three branches in governance as chessboard, or the 'tripping up' of functional democracy by the elected and appointed moving around like coaches for members of a football team suffering from brain trauma.
Which in fact is closer in reality to a cartoon of society reduced to a TV screen version of something like this:

Lurch to right - Lurch to the left.


#6

All of those movements mentioned in the article as well as many others, as well as the current convergence of constraints threatening all of humanity passed and will be passed over because everyone has to go to work in the morning.

In fact most if not all people, in some way or another, get paid to do one or several of the things that posters on the blogosphere daily remind everyone are bad and getting worse. Everyone talks about how we need to stop doing ________________ and the world will be a better place. Yet nobody can stop going to work in the morning.

Humanity has organized itself around one way and one way only to get money into peoples hands so they don't die. We pay people to extract resources, refine resources, make something from those resources, sell those things, buy those things, throw away those things, oh and drive around willy nilly in order to do all those things. Stop any of it and millions become poor and destitute.

There is one solution and one solution only. Pay people to NOT do those things.


#7

Bernie Sanders is a Muslim communist who takes his marching orders from Havana, Moscow and Peking. He will require all school children to read Mao Tse Tung's Little Red Koran. He is a menace to the American Way of Life! He must never be elected president. He does not even oppose fluoridation of water! None Dare Call it Conspiracy. He thinks tornadoes are caused by weather.


#8

For me the essence of that movie was the glaring difference between the American cultural norms (within which limits most governments operate left or right) and European cultural norms. There those norms are centered in respecting humanity and individual wellbeing and in the obligation to help each other - while here they are centered in money making at any cost and in normalized morals of exploitation of any kind. The latter I see directly tied to the violence and aggressivity historically inherent in the american society. This in my view it's not a governmental issue as much as a cultural issue - have split my life between here and there. Related issues of that essence are (a) the a-religiosity of those countries compared to the US, and (b) the higher level of education that came through from the interviews with ordinary people in these countries. For example, a Norwegian plumber's level of spoken English (not his native language) came through at a much higher level than my Univ. students here, etc. etc.


#9

Empathy or feelings in general etc have no place in the conversation in America. Those are called weaknesses. We didn't get to the top of the food chain or heap of humanity by being any of that. Sure, we use those things as props, as avenues to get to where we're going. But it's more likely we got here because we're the biggest bully on the planet. We went to the moon--the stars. We invented anything of consequence. We ARE humanity, the biggest group of skilled killers and conniving crimials all lumped together in this spot on the planet called America. And we lead, by our design as a species, to dominate in every way. Knowingly or not, most Americans feel that way, otherwise we'd have outsmarted the bullies long ago. We now aren't even as capable as those in the '60s that were in the streets taking down the bastards in charge until it (the war) stopped. Face it, it's in our DNA. It's got nothing to do with morals, empathy or justice or god forbid..politics or voting. Real (or specifically) our kind of justice is handed down at the end of a big stick. And we use it accordingly...against our own or against the world, and one day perhaps, the frick'n Universe itself. This is who we are. The rest of us, despite our bravado about this or that injustice, are a bunch of pussies (my apologies to pussies everywhere). Get in the street or f*cking get used to it. Have a nice day. :slightly_smiling:


#10

Murka goin commie ?

Resurrect Senator Joe McCarthy, the John Birch Society and build a wall on the Canadian border taller than the one that we build on the Mexican border...gotta keep that commie Canadian single payer from invading from the north !


#11

" Inflicting its military on the vulnerable regions of the planet ."

To bring them freedom and democracy! But I guess that canard is now being difficult to use on the US public and has gone the way of the last bogey man....communism. But never fear, the 1% now has the best bogey man of all TERRORISM.


#12

The U.S. has morphed into very different personae depending upon the decade in question.

And while I think everything you've stated is a fair assessment, you left out why militarism is so amped up inside the U.S.

During the 1960s and 1970s when education WAS liberal, and radio stations played lots of anti-war songs, and T.V. shows had actual debates about the moral and financial costs of war... it was a different America.

The very rich who always resented the tax policies implemented after the Great Depression-- added to the Glass Steagall Act and the New Deal--went to work aiming their artillery at rolling back all of those items.

By 1980, not only did Reagan's anti-government mantras begin to influence the body politic, Margaret Thatcher echoed the same ethos on the other side of the Atlantic.

Then rich brothers like David and Charles Koch began to rally smart, albeit deceptive persons around them and they came up with a set of tactics that would poison the heart of this nation.

Whereas the MIC and its generals committed to war as a way of life felt threatened by the anti-war fever of the l960s and l970s, the business class was impatient with all the benefits improving the lives of citizens including the Black Community.

The consolidation of media allowed for very narrow narratives and lies repeated often.

The use of think tanks infiltrated the Thought Processes inside respected universities.

Trade agreements began to downsize American industry and ship jobs overseas.

And Cable TV allowed for the emergence of an enormous demographic: The 60 million Evangelicals (Born-Again Christians) who were trained to follow Authority Figures.

The same politicians who worked for the interests of the military-industrial complex understood that by throwing the Right Wing Christians the anti-abortion "bone," they'd win this contingent's support for foreign wars.

Most human societies are pliable. The real issue comes down to which powers set the narrative and which expert lies end up repeated often. And who financially backs these incentives.

When the Supreme Court gave Big Money primacy over all other groups and objectives, it unleashed the Mammon side of the Mars-rules equation.

The results bleed all around us.

Also relevant is the net impact of the importation of so many from the Nazi upper echelon into U.S. military, academia, and the Deep State. Largely, it's THEIR vision that's brought the U.S. to where it is today in its celebration of wars, warriors, bombs, weapons systems, the almighty gun, violent sporting events (that massage the collective psyche--mostly male psyche--FOR war) and its reciprocal aversion to all things Feminine, caring, sharing, peace-oriented, or disarming.


#13

The 60's happened and the revolution of the youth towards the establishment in conjunction with the Civil rights movement frightened those in power. The youth of prior generations never really questioned the premises of the entire system.

They (those in power) pulled out all stops, including outright murder to ensure that awakening was stopped in its tracks. They spent the next generations trying to suggest that all that the kids of the 60's interested in was drugs and sex. We still have the legacy of the music of the 60s left to us and one can listen to the words to grasp the insights people were awakening to, even as the music of today (that which gets all the airplay) is about drugs, money and sex.

The "dumbing down" is a very definite construct albeit one that need not be permanent .


#14

I didn't realize how much these movements scared the ca-ca out of the Entrenched Interests until I began reading "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer.

It's great to know that all those demonstrations and peace marches DID scare the right wing pro-war/business lunatics who managed to finagle back the same powers they had at the turn of the 20th century: i.e. during the robber baron era.

That means that Occupy Wall Street, the Dreamers, the Climate Change protests, Black Lives Matter, the Minimum Wage advocates, the anti-fracking groups and all of the others ARE getting to these bastards. I think that's why they're pushing so hard for TIPP and TPP.

Long ago I realized the impossibility of fighting every separate and distinct form of corporate trespass. Far more utilitarian would be the passing of binding laws that turned the Harm Premise around.

Currently, corporations get away with untold levels and species of harm due to the "presumption of innocence" clause which they deploy like MAFIA hit-men: "We're innocent until we get caught... and even then, the case is only as good as our lawyers can argue against it."

So the consortium of those 200+ families that now own half the world's wealth is diligently putting together "trade treaties" that arguably will give them the right to write laws, enforce what passes for environmental protections (or otherwise), and literally exorcise the public from ANY decision-making (should it challenge corporate profits) that might arguably protect wages, public health, and our precious biosphere.

There is no low too low for these Old Powers to stoop to. They already are showing a 100% solid disdain for human life:

See... Detroit! for starters.


#15

Can't wait for that movie to come to town.

BTW, I strongly encourage supporting Josh Fox's ("Gasland") Kickstarter campaign for his new climate film. You should be able to find the trailer on the web somewhere. [No, I have no affiliation with the film; just ten bucks via K-S,]


#16

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#17

It sounds like your response to the film and mine were quite similar. (At one point I turned to my wife and said, of a woman who obviously was fluent in numerous languages, "Can you believe her fluency? I hate her. :wink: )

I started to "quibble" with your "individual wellbeing" locution, but you rendered my point moot with the rest of your sentence: "in the obligation to help each other." The presence of such a widespread sense of community was inspirational to me. So many "centered" lives. It's encouraging to see that it's possible...

That, and did those Icelandic bankers rock, or what?


#18

I did not know that I was at the top of "the food chain or heap of humanity."

Most of the human species reside outside of America.

I think you mean "criminals," not "crimials."

Those of the sixties did not take "down the bastards in charge," and the country is still at war.

The homeless are "in the street," and they are not used to it, nor would I tell them
to get used to it.


#19

Do you distinguish between Detroit and Flint?


#20

Well, both were gutted by Big Business. However, good point... Flint is the WATER crisis.


#21

Ahh yes, but now that some know this, what to do about it?