“In one way or another, this is the oldest story in America: the struggle to determine whether “we, the people” is a spiritual idea embedded in a political reality — one nation, indivisible — or merely a charade masquerading as piety and manipulated by the powerful and privileged to sustain their own way of life at the expense of others.”–Bill Moyers
Utopia 21: The Red God Speaks
The sun is bearing down on his head. Jack can taste the grit in his mouth. The sands of the desert floor whisper as they dance about his feet. He watches them do their dance between his parted feet before they shuffle off into the desert and he looks after them wondering what they are whispering about.
The wind has picked up. Its fingers pull through Jack’s hair and he can feel the temperature drop. More sand whispers under Jack’s feet. He turns his face into the wind to savor the relief that it gives. There he sees a wall of billowing red sand approaching him at alarming speed.
The Red God is bearing down on him and its voice is a thunderclap. Something “your”. Jack’s lungs are about to burst. He can not go faster as much as he wills it. The Red God is almost upon him and Jack understands what it is saying and it frightens him even more than the angry face in the sand itself.
“Failure.” the God speaks. “Failure.” the colliding sands in the awful torrent of wind confirms.
Jack trips. He looks behind him before he can get up and the Red God now towers over him with his mouth agape, about to consume him. Jack opens his mouth to scream but the red sands flood into his open mouth coating his tongue and throat. Choking him. He tries again to fill his lungs but only sand enters as he gasps for air. He opens his mouth for what he knows will be his last time and…
Jack drew in clean, cool, spring air. The sheets were wet with his sweat. Had he cried out in his sleep? Unsure. He laid back panting and covered his face with his hands. All was still for a moment, and then he began to weep.
“There are honest journalists like there are honest politicians — they stay bought.”–Bill Moyers
“You’ve no doubt figured out my bias by now. I’ve hardly kept it a secret. In this regard, I take my cue from the late Edward R. Murrow, the Moses of broadcast news. Ed Murrow told his generation of journalists bias is okay as long as you don’t try to hide it. So here, one more time, is mine: plutocracy and democracy don’t mix. Plutocracy, the rule of the rich, political power controlled by the wealthy. Plutocracy is not an American word but it’s become an American phenomenon.”–Bill Moyers
Xenophobia does not provide a solution to these situations. Both of these men were a little unhinged but they also both had valid points to make. Xenophobia prevents us from looking at those points. At the real reasons the 9-11 terrorists sought to kill Americans that day. At the reason this sort of violence is on the increase. The alienation and frustration people feel when fighting such a big machine that has the power to destroy their lives on a whim.
The communist creed:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed:
From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.–Joseph Stack in his suicide note.
“Secrecy is the freedom tyrants dream of.”–Bill Moyers.
Once you decide the government can choose who to kick out, it is no longer a government by the people. For example, before the Supreme Court right now is a case in which a person wrote an op ed in favor of Hammas. The government says this is “giving material support” to a terrorist organization. So if dissent causes you to lose citizenship then you can not have a democracy. You need to have a back and forth exchange of ideas. Even unpopular ideas like–for example arguing that a group that was elected to the government by a free election should not be considered a terrorist organization any more because it no longer fits the definition of terror. If you can be kicked out of the government for contributing to a charity that is connected to a terrorist organization or writing an op ed about them and the government gets carte blanche to decide who is and is not a terrorist, then you do not have a democracy anymore.
Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.–Bill Moyers
“It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn’t come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore.”–President Obama 2 weeks before the spill.
“BP is a London-based oil company with one of the worst safety records of any oil company operating in America,” says Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen. “In just the last few years, BP has paid $485 million in fines and settlements to the US government for environmental crimes, willful neglect of worker safety rules, and penalties for manipulating energy markets.” DN!
Or that an obscure 1990 law may shield BP from paying more than $75 million of the damages due to the spill.
Wall Street, not to be outdone, let the Dow Jones take a 1000 point tumble due to a typo (we think). Apparently a Citigroup trader with a really fat finger wanted to sell 15 million in share but actually typed in 15 billion share. A 1000 fold error. Oops. And Wall Street was off on the wildest ride it had ever had courtesy of computers.
“We have to face the unpleasant as well as the affirmative side of the human story, including our own story as a nation, our own stories of our peoples. We have got to have the ugly facts in order to protect us from the official view of reality. Otherwise, we are squeezed empty and filled with what other people want us to think and feel and experience.”–Bill Moyers
Study: Americans “Bombarded” With Cancer Causes
A government panel is warning Americans are being “bombarded” with cancer-causing sources including chemicals, radiation, and other hazards threatening “grievous harm.” The President’s Cancer Panel says cancers caused by environmental exposures have been “grossly underestimated” and require stronger government regulation. In a cover letter to a 240-page report, the panel urges President Obama to “most strongly use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.” DN!
The Food and Drug Administration is accusing a Pennsylvania plant of knowingly using contaminated materials in children’s medicines. On Tuesday, the FDA said the Johnson & Johnson-owned McNeil Consumer Healthcare plant had used materials contaminated with bacteria and failed to investigate consumer complaints. The plant is responsible for manufacturing most over-the-counter children’s medicines for cold relief, including Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl. McNeil has issued a recall that could ultimately effect seventy percent of the market for pediatric medicine. DN!
Advocates for a free and open internet are expressing alarm over reports that Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski is leaning toward keeping broadband deregulated and not reclassifying it as a a telecommunications service. Josh Silver of the group Free Press said: “Such a decision would destroy Net Neutrality. It would deeply undermine the FCC’s ability to ensure universal Internet access for rural, low-income and disabled Americans. It will undermine the FCC’s ability to protect consumers from price-gouging and invasions of privacy.” Silver warned that unless the FCC re-establishes authority over the nation’s Internet service providers, companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon will be able to slow down, block or censor content at will. DN!
“New ages don’t arrive overnight, or without “blood, sweat, and tears.””Bill Moyers
“Democracy belongs to those who exercise it.”–Bill Moyers