[The Rude Guy Podcast #63 November ??, 2009]
This is Rich Zubaty, The Rude Guy. Back with another guerilla attack on wealth, hypocrisy and the American Way.
Freedom isn’t free. But if you think our soldiers in Afghanistan are protecting our freedom you’ve got your head up your anus. The Afghanis aren’t trying to take away our freedom. The Republicans and Democrats are.
Lone wolves like Ron Paul and Alan Grayson occasionally join together to fight for things like, auditing the Federal Reserve, an institution that played a great part in causing the Great Depression of 1929 AND our current economic depression. The FED is a private club of a dozen or so private banks that can print and loan money at will, with no oversight, and which has NEVER BEEN audited. Preposterous.
By and large both Republicans and Democrats are complicit in letting the well-oiled machinery of the corporate state set the course of monetary policy.
We were told that if we hadn’t bailed out the banks, we would be having a depression, not a mere recession. In a depression small businesses cannot borrow money to operate – farmers can’t buy farm machinery and seed, plumbers can’t buy pipe, everybody gets laid off. And what’s happening right now? Wall Street is fat city, and small businesses cannot borrow money to operate.
This is the Obama, Geithner, Summers recovery. These guys don’t have a fucking clue what normal people need to live. They don’t understand that when Wall Street is doing great, the rest of the economy suffers. They cannot imagine a future in which Wall Street is doing shitty and the rest of the economy is doing great, precisely BECAUSE Wall Street is doing shitty, and not being allowed to rob us blind. The stunning success of the Chinese economy over the past decade was certainly not due to banking. They didn’t HAVE any private banking.
The good thing about Obama being AWOL in China during the healthcare debate, was that it made Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid look REALLY good. Like they’ve got the Congress working again. Like they can run the country just fine without him. If that was Obama’s plan – it was masterful. Americans need to believe that the Congress can actually pass bills about something more
than starting wars and cutting taxes.
I voted for Barack Obama. I wanted him to succeed. Now I’m not so sure. I thought Obama had the same values I do…now I’m not so sure. During the financial meltdown, a month before he got elected, I remember him saying: We Americans don’t have to apologize to anybody for our way of life. Unquote. That’s just about the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard a politician say. We have military bases in 130 countries and we spend as much as the entire rest of the world put together does, on soldiers and weapons and killing. We support tyrants and beat people up, all over the planet, so we can steal their wealth and exploit their cheap labor. And we have nothing to apologize for?
Without meaningful debate, Congress and Obama just gave the U.S. military and intelligence services as much money to operate for one year, as it would cost us for TEN years of healthcare coverage for everybody. Ten years. And that healthcare bill has been bogged down for months, getting more compromised and watered down with each passing week. Thank God Harry Reid finally moved the ball in the Senate.
Listen to what Beijing cab driver Li Chun Hwa, told a reporter from Aljazeera. Li was one of millions of Chinese who invested his life savings into stocks, buying into the western-styled WISDOM of fast returns on the market floors of capitalism.
Those floors collapsed this past year as speculative investments by US banks and financial institutions drove the world into financial crisis.
Says cabdriver Li, “The age of America as the world’s superpower has come and will soon pass…America has been too busy extending itself, spending money on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Now it’s broke, and it’s policies have lost friends around the world…what it says and does holds less meaning now.” Unquote.
Do you hear that Barack? We’re at a point in history where even cabdrivers in China understand, we have to apologize to just about the entire planet for our arrogant, militarist, greedy capitalist way of life. And not just apologize, but start behaving very differently.
Barack Obama presented himself as an agent of change, and one year later I…don’t…see it. Two weeks after he was elected he smugly told us: don’t worry about who I appoint to my cabinet. I am the change. That’s my job. The change comes from me…Then he appointed investment banker Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff. And he brought Larry Summers and Tim Geithner on board to FIX the financial mess THEY had created under Clinton and Bush. And one year later what’s happening? Wall Street is wallowing in money, paying out billions in bonuses to their employees. Worse, the big financial institutions that took our stimulus money are using our own fucking money, millions of dollars, to bribe congressmen NOT to pass legislation that would regulate them. In effect we are paying the New York banks and brokers to create another financial mess down the road, so we can bail them out again. This I call communism. Corporate communism. Corporatism. We have no control over these assholes. They OWN our government. Capitalist Communism. No matter who we elect, they still run the show. Even the biggest old fool of them all, Alan Greenspan, finally got religion. He recently said, quote: if it’s too big to fail it’s too big. It should be broken apart into smaller pieces… This is not a disaster. Look at Standard Oil. We broke it apart at the beginning of the last century and then its parts became more valuable than the whole. Unquote.
This is the same antitrust dispute we’ve been having in this country for a hundred years, since before Teddy Roosevelt was president. If it’s too big to fail it’s too big. So why not bring Leftists with a vision, like Nobel prize winning economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, into the Obama administration, to take on the task of cutting corporations down to a reasonable size? Why try to get bankers to regulate themselves? Why try to get congressmen, who have their hands in the pockets of the bankers, to regulate their patrons. Time for Obama to put other players in the game. Yeah, it’s as simple as basketball. You can’t have a five foot hotdog guarding a seven foot gorilla.
And then there’s Robert Gates. CIA Director under Bush One, Defense Secretary under Bush Two. Continuing Defense Secretary under Barack Obama. What the fuck happened to Colin Powel? Former Big Cheese of the Pentagon The guy who articulated the Powel Doctrine about how an invading army, BEFORE it invades, should HAVE a goal and an exit strategy. It should hit with overwhelming force, then get out! The Powell Doctrine. That’s change. That’s the lessons of Vietnam learned, and applied. Not D-day fantasy flashbacks played out over and over again on unfriendly soil, in unfriendly nations. The reason the Iraqis did NOT welcome us with flowers and open arms, is because they are Arabs, not FRENCH. For fuck sakes. Why isn’t Colin Powel Secretary of Defense – if we’re gonna hire Republicans. Or former General Wesley Clark, if we’re gonna hire Democrats. Why do we have the same old Bush administration assholes running our wars?
Like Stanley McCrystal, current big cheese in Afghanistan…former big cheese of Dick Cheney’s covert assassination squads and covert torture prisons. The ones they wouldn’t let the Red Cross in to, to inspect. Are you shitting me? These guys again? If your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail, and if your only tool is a predator drone everyone looks like an insurgent.
I’m tired of hearing about how Obama’s really a good guy, but he’s being misled by his advisors. If his advisors are steering him wrong then he needs NEW Advisors. What the fuck?
I’m getting pretty sick of everyone telling me how intelligent Obama is. Inteligent? Ok. Fine. When’s he gonna unLEASH this intelligence. He hasn’t made one intelligent decision in a year. Not one. He’s starting to scare me. Like he’s got Attention Deficit Disorder or something. He’s all over the map. One day its health care, then he’s speaking in Cairo, then some trout fishing, then he’s gonna discipline Wall Street, then education takes center stage. Next some golf on the White House lawn. A little talk about green jobs. Then a blue dog Democrat, pickup basketball game. Next he’s off to China to talk trade, then back to healthcare for a day, then a year late, he gets around to having a jobs summit. All over the planet people are beginning to notice that all he’s doing is TALKING about these things. Not DOING anything about them. As if now he’s begun campaigning for President of the entire Planet, instead of just BEING president of the United States.
Like Ralph Nader said, Obama’s a good campaigner, but a terrible politician. He threw Single Payer Healthcare under the bus BEFORE the healthcare debate even BEGAN. Utterly politically stupid. He took away Nancy Pelosi’s and Harry Reid’s MAIN weapon, before they even got to the war. And, at the exact same time, he pompously announced: “Every American President since Teddy Roosevelt has talked about passing healthcare reform, and I intend to be the last one.” Unquote. Who’s the airhead who writes these speeches? This is not intelligence. This is foolishness. Self-aggrandizing foolishness. Single Payer is off the table, the public option has gotten no presidential support, therefore competition for big insurance has virtually been eliminated, and Obama’s gonna solve the healthcare problem for once and for all? It’s depressing. We have elected yet anOTHER fool for president. When’s it gonna end? When do we get a real human being instead of another handsome charming well-spoken guy who has no qualifications for this job? When are we gonna get someone who understands money and power and war. Not just speech-making. When?
By the time Obama gets a handle on being president, the Republicans will have eroded Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and that’ll be IT for another 6 years. No chance of change. He’s wasted an entire year. And not just any year. But the most important year. The first year. The year he surfed in on a wave of overwhelming mandate for change. He’s wasted an entire presidency.
Yes. Obama’s better than George Bush. But Homer SIMPson would have been a better president than George Bush.
I’m sorry folks, but there’s a fundamental problem here, and it’s time to get a handle on it. It’s a year later and Obama hasn’t tossed progressives a milkbone. Worse, when Dennis Kucinich and Andy Weener tried to get Single Payer options into the evolving Healthcare bill, the, quote “White House” called Nancy Pelosi and asked her to remove them. Which she did. Remove the amendments to allow state and federal government to opt In to Single Payer down the road, if the insurance giants cheat us. Disappear them from the evolving bill. Just like that. Just like in a fascist or communist dictatorship. Remove them and don’t even allow them to be debated, discussed, or voted on. That’s tyranny. Not change.
So…Let’s get to the bottom of this. A hundred and fifty years ago a human titan said these words:
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and receives much the higher consideration.
Who dooya think said that? Karl Marx? Leo Tolstoy? Vladimir Lenin?
None of the above. Abraham Lincoln.
Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and receives much the higher consideration.
Abraham Lincoln. This is Lincolnism. Lincolnism.
This is REAL vision. Not Obamavision. Not prattling on about green jobs and higher education while Wall Street fucks us in the ass.
Americans are not taught history, so we don’t know the things we need to know to make intelligent choices. In politics, in economics, in everything.
Leftists have been betrayed again, and it’s finally time to find out why, and how, so we don’t keep getting handed the shit end of the stick.
Here’s the bad news for leftists. Something we really don’t want to admit. The price we paid for civil rights was too much. The price we paid for feminism was too much. Open your ears and hold onto your butt cheeks, you’re not going to hear this from anyone else but me. I am not a right wing nut. I’m a left wing nut…who’s tired of having our basic working people’s economic wish list, marginalized, dissipated, and ultimately lost in a fog of feminism and civil rights. We traded away economic progress for dubious social progress and it sucks. Women and blacks have more self-esteem and American workers are poorer.
The price we paid for Civil Rights was the loss of the
Democratic South. When I was a kid, the entire Southern U.S. voted Democratic. The Republicans had brought the Civil War to the South and a hundred years later, in the 1960s, you couldn’t FIND a white southerner to vote Republican. Now you can’t find one to vote Democratic. What happened?
Civil Rights. Lyndon Johnson and civil rights. Just after President Lyndon Johnson signed his landmark civil rights legislation, he said to his aides: quote “now I just hope I haven’t pissed off enough Southern Democrats so they all become Republicans.” Unquote. He did…and they did. The price we paid for civil rights is that the solid Democratic south became solid Republican red states.
And we were plunged into forty fucking straight years of right-wing victories and conservative non-governance. Unions were smashed, stagnated wages were cheapened by inflation, and capital became king.
Remember, John Kennedy barely beat Richard Nixon, and Kennedy still had the advantage of a solid Democratic South. After Johnson, conservatism became king. The FDR era was all over but the shouting. Blacks could vote and own Burger King franchises, and Wall Street ran the nation. For forty fucking years we’ve been ruled by conservatives. We don’t even remember what living in a Liberal country is like any more. And we’re not gonna find out under Obama unless he changes fast.
And feminism did the same thing. Jerry Rubin said that the feminist movement destroyed the sixties movement, which had been a grass roots explosion demanding economic and political change. Gloria Steinem was financed by the CIA to fragment the sixties movement. And fragment she did.
For 40 fucking years we haven’t been able to bring any leftist legislation forward without some part of it being derailed by feminism and abortion. Our media morons, in part, justified the invasion of Afghanistan because, according to feminist talking points, the Taliban were nasty to women. Except, if you ask Afghani women, they’ll tell you they’d prefer to have the Taliban back, rather than us, because at least under the Taliban there was safety and security. Not bombed weddings and blown apart babies…Even the latest health care bill has been stalled by abortion concerns, buying the opposition yet more time to water down other parts of the bill.
I’m sick to death of every goddam national election turning on abortion. Fuck abortion. Let’s talk about war. Let’s talk about jobs and labor and money and people losing their houses because they don’t have health care. Fuck abortion. I’ve had it with abortion.
In the recent past, voting for a woman or a black could be acclaimed as voting for change. That’s over with. That’s marketing bullshit. That’s not change, that’s fog. That’s smoke and mirrors.
Arm-waving donkey-faced new candidates are trotted out on the political stage because of their gender or skin color, not because they’re progressive on economic issues. Look at Justice Clarence Thomas. Or Condoleeza Rice. Or Hillary. Or Obama. Brand Obama was a marketing dream. A handsome, charismatic, hope-dispensing…wishy-washy conservative brown guy. We need more conservative women and blacks like we each need a third asshole. I live in a state with a Jewish lesbian Republican governor, who’s been the worst governor in half a century. But at least she’s a woman. Fuck that. No white man has been elected to high office in this state for decades. It’s either non-white men or white skinned women. But no white men. Fuck that foolishness. It’s still racism and sexism, and all it does is disguise conservative agendas and hype cosmetic change.
Let’s get something straight. I am not saying that having dark skin or tits should disqualify anybody from ANYthing. I AM saying that having dark skin and tits is no longer, and never was, enough credentials to qualify ANYONE as being liberal or progressive, or being some kind of change agent. I know for a fact that a white guy growing up on the south side of Chicago painting houses has more blues and soul than a black guy growing up in Honolulu and going to Harvard ever will. So there!
I don’t care if someone spouts civil rights rhetoric or feminist talking points. I care that they understand that labor comes before capital. That we must take care of labor first, and then capital will take care of itself. And not the other fucking way around. I care about Lincolnism. Abraham Lincolnism.
Americans were told if we patch up the banks they would lend money and small businesses would be able to hire new workers and we would all be raptured into free market nirvana again. Completely fucking backwards. We need to get money into the hands of the workers and let the banks crash, and let stocks and real estate crash, down to their true market values…and not prop them up at their inflated bubble values. That’s completely insane. We have been bushwhacked into accepting phony inflated prices, as being the true prices of things. Food, housing, oil.
The fact is, Americans are not free marketers. Oh we make a lot of noise about freedom, but when there’s a big fuck up we all want the government to ride in on a white horse and bail us out.
And another thing…We’re always hearing about how Americans are fundamentally conservative. How America is a center/right nation.
Well whoopeedo. Yes Americans are conservative. But ALL people are conservative. All people are suspicious of change. From Bolivia to Beijing.
The point is, if we’d spent the past thirty years listening to the idea, blasted into our heads, on every TV show and radio show, in every classroom and political speech, millions upon millions of times, that democratic socialism is the best form of government…and you would have to be insane and diseased to want any other form of government…then we’d have a democratic socialist government. Like France and England. We would not tolerate Wall Street greed. We would pay no more attention to Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck than we do now to Dennis Kucinich or Raoul Castro. We would live in a country where everyone has health care and food and a place to live. Where homelessness is unknown and where there hasn’t been a war in our lifetimes. NOT IN OUR LIFETIMES! And we would be stubbornly conservative and laugh the pants off anyone who thought we should change everything and create a capitalist society, where every ten years the rich people’s greedy schemes drop the pants off the entire economy, and working people are abandoned to sleep on the sidewalks and eat in church kitchens.
Conservatism is not a political philosophy. It’s a fact of human nature. The real question is: what have we been brainwashed a million times over to be conservative about? Free market capitalism? Or democratic socialism? As Michael Moore pointed out in his latest movie, democracy and capitalism are conFLICTing systems. If we’re going to be democrats we can’t be capitalists. The two are natural enemies. What kind of insane institutional brainwashing ever convinced us we could be both? The same one that brainwashes us with the lie that Christians are natural born capitalists, and conceals from us the fact, that Jesus was the first socialist?
There’s a story about Barack Obama, that when he was at Harvard he spoke at a meeting of two bitterly opposed student factions…and after his speech, as the students filed out of the room, they were interviewed by the school newspaper. Every single person interviewed felt Obama had stated their position perfectly, and taken their side in the controversy. This is brilliant rhetoric and bullshit politics. And it’s coming home to roost nationally right now. The only one who benefits in a situation like this is Barack Obama and his crew. Not all the people who feel lied to.
So what’s Obama’s report card? For year one he gets a D plus. Not double F like George W Bush. But not C, not average, either. D plus. The plus is for keeping our non-functioning missile defense system out of Eastern Europe, and thereby making nice with Russia. With Russia’s help we can contain Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Without them we can’t.
Butterfly Barack has flitted from issue to issue, barely spending a minute on each. He’s listened to too many power brokers, ignored the people who knocked on doors and made phone calls to elect him, brushed aside the working people, and even tuned out some of the historical giants who put him where he is.
I just saw civil rights icon Harry Belafonte on Aljazeera. I get almost all my news from Aljazeera these days. They have the most complete unbiased news I can find anywhere. They’re on the internet at: english.aljazeera.net [spell aljazeera]
Anyway, they have a program called Faultline which is like PBS’s Frontline packed in dynamite. Explosive in depth reporting.
Anyway, Harry Belafonte was the first million-selling recording artist in history. Crooning out that old Calypso, which was political Reggae before there was political Reggae. Caribbean music with politics, and without pot. Anyway, Belafonte was probably the biggest individual contributor of MONEY to the Civil Rights movement. He hung with Martin Luther King in the bad old days and has always been a leftist activist since he was a kid living with his grandma in Jamaica.
But Harry Belafonte has not been invited to Barack Obama’s White House. That’s just flat out outrageous. The investment bankers are welcome but the leftist human rights activists are not. Obama is like a kid trying to restart the train of history in the year 2008, with himself tooting the whistle and wearing the engineer’s cap. Himself as the decider. D plus.
He needs to learn how to be a smart coach and put some new players into the game. Out with Geithner and Summers and McCrystal and Gates. In with some new blood willing to take new risks. There’s no more time on the clock for conservative play calling. No more time at all.
And mostly, he needs to stop trying to be all things to all people, stop his perpetual campaigning, stop flitting from one issue to another like a nervous butterfly, and bear down and put a few big fish in the boat.
For anyone who cares about how I’m doing, all I can say is…thank god for socialism. As Obama said when he was campaigning: government has a role to play in our lives.
After four years of living in my truck I finally got a rent-subsidized apartment. The Department of Housing and Urban Development to the rescue. The capitalist economy created a housing bubble that built way too many houses. Then the bubble burst, and in a real free market there would be cheap houses and rentals galore. But oh no. We bailed out the banks so they can keep their shitty investments on the books, and keep the housing prices up high, until some predatory investors or desperate homeless fools, buy them up. Therefore, with one out of ten houses in America unoccupied, people are living in cars and tent cities. This is not a democracy. And it’s not a free market. It’s corporate communism. A corporatocracy, where corporations rule.
Anyway…I got a little apartment where the rent is linked to how much I earn. How ‘bout that? The exact opposite of corporate communism. What I pay is a realistic percentage of what I earn. I pay 30% of whatever I make and that’s just fine with me. I don’t get rained on and I don’t have the cops rousting me at night telling me to move along. Thank god for socialism.
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Blessings to one and all
[RG voice: God bless socialism]