Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent"

I refer you to Common Dreams.org published today, April 22, 2014 by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship titled "Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent."  

Thank God for two of the best investigative journalists of our time - Bill Moyers and Michael Winship - for this excellent article.  

For all of you who are genuinely concerned about the escalating power of money, the subservient masses they find within the halls of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and those who ostensibly represent the will of the American People, this is a must read.  Anyone who genuinely believes that any branch of our Federal Government gives two hoots in hell about the majority (disdainfully referred to as the "Will of the people,") has mastered the art of self-deception and has become so complacent that the masses are simply up for plucking by the highest bidders.   

Time is not on our side.  If we don't get serious about purging our system of government of the pervasive and burgeoning corruption and the evil influence of big money, we are not going to be around much longer to restore integrity to our democracy and power to the people who are the descendants of all those who this vision of the Founding Fathers was intended to serve and respect, and to whom it rightfully belongs.

The time is long past for us to become "informed," rather than "indoctrinated."  If we don't make an effort to know what is going on, rather than what those who are our adversaries want us to believe, we are in deep do-do .  To say that ignorance is bliss is a gross under-statement.  It is a travesty of major proportions, for all this country is, has been and has the potential to be. 

When the "Common Person" bites the dust, and that dust settles, we will be nothing but a totally decadent oligarchy/plutocracy where wealth, self-indulgence and ignorance reign supreme, and all we give a damn about will be gluttonous consumption and the pursuit of pleasure.  Any vestigial remnants of character, responsibility and a genuine concern for each other will be but a faded and tattered memory of what once was and is no more. 

Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire will rise, once again, from the ashes of what was once our finer angels ----- and we will be the poorer for it.

May God help us. 

Cowboy Bob
The Sagebrush Philosopher
April 22, 2014    

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"And They Tout All This As Progress!"

I find it utterly incredulous that, in this golden age of computers, passwords, etc., that it takes an act of God in order to just survive in this world of computer techies.

When I go to the Post Office, I put a key in the box, turn the key and "voila" the box opens and I get my mail.

When I go out to get in my car, I put a key in the ignition, turn it and "voila" the car starts and I am happily on my way.

When I return home, I put a key in the lock, turn it and "voila": the door opens and I enter into the safety of my domicile.

For all the foregoing, I have no need for a password and all the suicidal thoughts they engender when trying to penetrate whatever is guarded by them.  I simply go about my business, quite content that I can manage to operate a simple lock and key, and the world is mine.  I am inclined to believe that all of this crap they saddle us with is simply a way to drive up the cost of whatever it is they are selling and to reduce the population by slowly driving them crazy.

Are there any sane minds out there who can reintroduce those of us from an earlier age to the pleasures of a simple lock and key, all of the passwords be damned?

My life is sufficiently simple and ordered that I have no need for a barrage of secret words and other such paraphernalia in order to survive.  Are there any reasoned minds out there in cyberspace who has a trusting mind and an inclination for a simpler era?  

Today has been an absolute nightmare for me because the lower end of some large intestine in London tried to hack into one of my e-mails.  I can at least take some small consolation in knowing, because of the incestuous gene pool of the Royal Family, that it did not originate in Windsor Castle.  Perhaps it was one of the renegade whistle-blowers seeking a safe haven outside the United States.  Whatever source from which it may have come, surely it has to be part of a conspiracy that is out to destroy the world of the more sane among us.

If anyone can convince me that the world is better off because of the proliferation of this electronic age and all its gadgetry , I will gladly kiss their posterior in Times Square for the benefit of what remains of their perverted world of "progress!"

Cowboy Bob
The Sagebrush Philosopher
April 19, 2014


Monday, April 14, 2014

US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study by Eric Zuesse

I would refer the reader to the online news publication, Common Dreams.org dated April 14, 2014.

The suggested article is authored by Eric Zuesse.

For those of you interested in the erosion of democracy in the United States of America and the rising influence of the growing oligarchy, I would heartily recommend that you take the time and effort to read and reflect on this piece of writing.  It is approximately one and one-half pages long and the conclusions are ominous for those of us who have serious and growing misgivings about this trend.  Moreover, it is of further concern exacerbated by what appears to be a growing antipathy by the population at large.

It is, in my humble opinion, time to take this matter seriously, to become informed and to become active, lest we lose this precious gift from the Founding Fathers.  It may be more fragile than we think.

Cowboy Bob
The Sagebrush Philosopher
April 14, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

“Where Is the Democracy In What We Presume Is Our Democracy?"

The longer I study politics and the twisted road we travel in trying to maintain some semblance of order in what we presume the Founding Fathers intended for this country the more confused I become.  I cannot help but wonder where simple Aristotelian logic is to be found in all this is?  Do we have some ingrained need within us that equates complexity with sophistication so we are somehow led to feel bigger and more important than we really are? 

Why is there not more simplicity in what we do so even the least among us can comprehend and react intelligently to what is going on in our name and, ostensibly, for the common good?  Instead, we blur that fundamental need with all sorts of ceremony, rules, regulations and privilege that serve no purpose for the body politic and the society in which we are consigned to live?  We have managed to make the people’s government and how it works the stuff, not of the common man, but of all sorts of specialists who have a corner on how we interpret the very tenets of how we are to behave and live?  Long ago, it was our complicity that set the stage for the greatest surge in the growth of what we now call the “legal profession,” in all its forms and manifestations.    

Who has benefitted most from this?  Why is it the politicians of every stripe and ilk we can imagine?  That is followed by the corruption of money, social strata, and a population that simply cannot hold those who pretend to be superior to the basics by which we should all live, work and prosper?  We just cannot seem to resist the temptation to put the noose around our own necks. 

What twisted mind came up with the notion that the Supreme Court should be appointed by the President?  Is that not a sterling example of a conflict of interest that is one of the President’s most cherished perquisites of the office he holds?  Understandably so.    

If we are all to suffer the “wisdom” of the Supreme Court, then I would ask why the esteemed justices are not the result of winning the confidence of the American people by popular vote of the people, rather than by what seems to be a kinship with buddies of the rich, powerful and privileged of the land.  It does not seem like it would be terribly complicated to make that change so we all have a say in who gets seated on the “bench,” for how long, and who can feign wisdom when it comes to our common welfare and what is best for those of us who comprise the “people” of this country.  If they have the power to make sweeping decisions that affect all of us, then why should we not have the power to decide who makes those decisions? 

I regard the Supreme Court as one of the greatest enigmas within our system of government.  They seem to have an aura of arrogance and a sense of superiority that should not be tolerated, much less encouraged and, even more ridiculous, revered. 

I, for one, think it is time for all members of the Supreme Court to be elected by popular vote of the people, with term limits, and the Chief Justice elected at the beginning of each session, by a majority vote of the entire court.  

That should put their role in proper perspective and remind them that it is the people of this country who put them there, keeps them there and to whom they are accountable; not a self-styled aristocracy predicated on wealth, privilege and ill-gotten power.

I, for one, think it is time we gave real meaning to what we euphemistically call a “democracy,” relegate “republic” to the dust bin of history and get on with the people’s business as it should be conducted in the world of today, and, sadly, is what most people actually believe we already have.

And that is the way I see it.

Cowboy Bob
The Sagebrush Philosopher

April 8, 2014     

Friday, April 4, 2014

“There Just Has To Be Something Better!”

When one looks at the motley bunch we refer to deferentially as the Supreme Court, it should come as no surprise to anyone that our illustrious Chief Justice has made it abundantly clear that he, too, is a member of the plutocracy/oligarchy that has a stranglehold on our (ostensibly) democratic form of government.  Any illusions about where they stand on the issues relative to the governed of this country just flew out the window. 

But, let’s face it.  This country and all we profess and delude ourselves into believing about it being a “democracy” and the “land of the free” has just been proven wrong once again.  The villains who are disparaged by all those in high places still reside within the ranks of the “working class,” the “middle class,” and the “laborers.”  They are to be exploited and tolerated for the benefit of the greater good to which we have entrusted the complete health, welfare and growth of this country. 

We, the people, must bear the brunt of the blame for where we are.  We have become a people of “appearance,” rather than “substance,” and we are paying the price for it.  The visceral pleasures of life and the massive brainwashing that has led us to the Pollyanna style of life and hope we covet has worked.  We are now the product of the entertainment industries, the bill of fare offered to us by television, the numbness of our cranial tissue brought on by the myriad hand-held devices that have transformed what used to be thinking human beings into numbed-down automatons who have lost the ability to engage in original and critical thought.  Kaput!  It is gone and we are all the happier for it. 

Anyone who could honestly believe that NBC and MSNBC give us anything but what is the bill of fare emanating from the halls of General Electric is out of touch with reality.  Does anyone honestly think that Westinghouse is going to rely on CBS to feed us anything that deviates from the company line?  ABC never mentions its affiliation with Disney Enterprises, but you can bet your next pay check that, behind the scenes, Mickey Mouse and his cohorts are preparing and serving up to us what they want us to believe, not what we need to know in order to be informed citizens who can be trusted with the care of the greatest democracy in the history of the world.

CNN and Fox News?  Well, I suspect they are in it more for the income generated by their brand of notoriety than anything of substance and truth.  Thanks to Al Jazeera there may still be hope for a real news outlet.  The downside to that, of course, is who will bother to watch and listen to their broadcasts.  Don’t hold your breath.          

Global warming?  It will never happen.  After all, history has shown us that this, too, shall pass and we will never feel the sting of all we have brought down on our heads.  The entire history of our faux-rich class has proven that we are immune from the realities of what lies ahead, created by their ingenuity and greed, and all we have created by our own hand.  We seem incapable of operating from a base of principle.  Rather, we readily succumb to pretext.  That leaves nothing to move us to greater heights and a genuine common concern for what is in the best interests of all of us.  Commitment and creativity come cheap these days. 
The next big joke we have to ponder is how much power and control now rests with the massive monolith of agencies we call our Federal Government.  Who, in their right mind, could actually believe there is a clean and genuinely concerned statesman among them, excepting those few who stand on principle and honesty?  The majority of them are much too preoccupied with stealing and lying to the electorate in order to lace their pockets with all they have come to believe is their rightful share of the pie for playing politician.  Who are their real constituents?  Need I even bother to ask the question?  The answer is self-evident to any seriously concerned citizen of the Republic. 

If one were to administer a means test to any of them, be it the House, the Senate, the White House, or the Supreme Court, their attention would automatically be drawn to Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Hollywood and all of the other sprawling complexes dotting the country sides of Virginia and Maryland where so much of the real wealth, power and influence lie. 

I, also, cannot help but wonder why we have a sacrosanct two-party political system?  Who said we can only vote for a Republican or a Democrat who has been duly vetted and blessed by the political party with which they are affiliated?  What have the Green Party, the Justice Party, the Freedom Party and all the other minor annoyances played by fringe parties done for us?  What choice have we had to participate in a real election because of their place on the ballots so dutifully given to us when we venture in to go through the motions of really voting?  At best, it is a ritual, most of which has been stolen from us by the actions of the Supreme Court and the money machines of the oligarchs, plutocrats and corrupt benefactors that support the main stream political machines.  How much longer are we going to support and feign belief in this charade?  There is no grander form of deception than that we inflict on ourselves by our own stupidity and naïveté. 

Yeah, I know.  Bill Clinton is one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States and his wife is being pursued by the wide-eyed progressives and liberals who just know in their hearts that she is the one who can give new meaning to the Presidency, and show the world what a real woman can do in the White House.  I’ve got news for them.  Move over Hillary.  Elizabeth Warren has you beat by a country mile and she is the real deal.  Anyone with half a brain and a modicum of decency knows that.       

Clearly, the White House is up for sale to the highest bidder and what has now become the cadre of oligarchic and plutocratic benefactors for whom the cost of favors from that particular residence is pocket change.  What, for example, do presidential advisers do for us other than negotiate the deal that will most benefit those who now own our Federal Government and all its key players?  Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both show signs of having been accepted into the club that will only result in fewer jobs for Americans and more money for those who own the offices and the occupants that dutifully offer their best advice on behalf of those to whom they are actually beholden.  Whoever may be the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania at any given point in time is, I am sure, well paid for his exceptional performance as the water boy for the super-rich and powerful to whom they owe their loyalties.            

I genuinely believe that our entire government apparatus and structure is severely fractured and those who are so readily available to pick up the pieces are benefiting the most.  It is certainly not the mainstream Americans who are more the victims than the benefactors of their activities, ostensibly for the common welfare and our collective behalf. 

If we are to reclaim the heritage left to us by the Founding Fathers and restore their intent for a healthy and long life for this nation, there has to be some serious thought given to what we can and should do for our collective welfare and this grand experiment of what is meant by self-government by the people and for the people.  It won’t be easy, but I am confident it can and should be fixed by those who own it, not by those who have bought or stolen it.   

Every major political party has been co-opted by those who claim a propriety right based on their membership and control of the party apparatus.  I see little real difference in the Democrats and Republicans, save that contrived to deceive all of us into believing they really give a damn about any of us and their every motive and move is for our common and collective welfare.  Yes, and for those of you who may be interested, I have a great bridge for sale at a bargain price. 

We need a new political party that encompasses the majority of working Americans, middle class Americans and all those who labor for an honest living by the sweat of their brow.  We can no longer afford to acquiesce to those who are convinced of their economic and social superiority, and their perceived Divine right to mete out their wisdom to those of us who simply “labor” for a living.  They have not earned the right to even stand in the same room with the average person who has made this country great throughout history. They are the social and economic parasites of our time. 

They are the ones who have sent their progeny off to Ivy League Schools and Military Academies so they can remain immune from any real sacrifice on behalf of the American people and the country that has given them all the privilege and power they covet.  They are the ones who send off the best among us to foreign lands to die for the wealth and power they have garnered from less than honorable means in order to acquire their booty.  They are the ones who plan and orchestrate the galas on the Mall in Washington, D.C., with all the glitz and glamour of show business personalities, blowing smoke up our back side to somehow make us believe those who have come back maimed and disfigured gave of themselves so selflessly for the greater good of this nation.  In reality, it doesn't take a stretch to remind us that most of those who went to war on our behalf did so because there were no jobs and the means for an honest living available to them here at home.  Those had all been sent off to enhance their foreign investments and the massive sellout of American industries through free-trade agreements and all of the secret deals made behind closed doors in the halls of government – a government of the people, by the people and for the people.  It is pretty to think so but it sure as hell doesn't square with the reality I see and hear about every day. 

We need citizens who care about this country and all those who labor in its service.  We have had enough of the deferential trips to Las Vegas, the Hamptons, and other environs of wealth and power, reserved for billionaires, where obsequious parasites bow and scrape before the most vile among us hoping a crumb will fall from the table so they, in turn, can pursue their lesser pursuits at the expense of those who have earned their place at the table.

Let us not forget that the word “public” refers to that rightfully belonging to the public, not private enterprise.  I have had enough of the epidemic of “privatization” that has overtaken this country.  Those who are making out like bandits from their exploitation of what was, and should continue to be public services, are costing this country and its citizens dearly in terms of a more efficient, healthier and more responsive system for the average American.  For starters, I refer to schools, parking meters, and a whole host of public services that have served the people of this country extraordinarily well. 

One of the most egregious examples of the greed and creative thievery set before us is the privatization of prisons, where vital services and minor criminals are sold into what I regard as slavery by contracted “privatized” prisons, aided and abetted by compromised judges and other officers of the court in order to further lace the pockets of those who are just as much of a criminal bent as those they sell into service for a fast buck.  These are but a few examples of how our tax dollars are being pirated from under our noses in order to simply feed the rapacious greed of those who cannot earn it honesty, so resort to less honest means and an aura of piety in order to convince those of us who have paid for those services, and who rely on their value to us, that they can do the job better, more efficiently and at less cost than can those we have retained to “work” and represent the public to whom they are accountable. 

The stench of the bull shit created by the “creative” minds who seduce the rest of us is beginning to smell.  It is time to revisit all those hollow promises and get back to basics, at a fair price and for a reliable service. 

It is time to burnish the patina of labor unions and organizations that represent the working people of this country.  They deserve to have their place at the table restored and to get the credit they deserve for doing what is right by this country.  There is a hell of a lot of talent floating around in the environs that does not require a “college” education in order to prove their worth and value to the society of which they are a part.  As a wise professor once said to his class, “When you send a jackass to college all you have at the end of the process is an educated jackass.”  Those words convey a fundamental fact to all of us.  Native wisdom and innate talent are worth something, even in today’s plastic and phony world. 

Isn't it about time we created a new political party that subscribes to and supports a constituency of people dedicated to a country governed by those who work for and labor in its service, rather than to massive wealth, power and privilege that exploit it and hold themselves above the law? 

Can we not create a party that fully supports the welfare of all the people, not just those who only believe in and support a self-imposed and false sense of superiority?  Can we not return to the fundamental prescription of “one nation, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all?”  Can we not return to “a government of the people, by the people and for the people?”  Can we not take it from the hands of those who disdain the notion of the public good, and return it to fair and just treatment for everyone?  Can we not all share in the burden of supporting this democracy that has, for so long, stood as a beacon to the rest of the world?  Can we not all rediscover that basic sense of decency and honesty we once knew?  Can we not do with less and give more?  Can we not be good stewards of this fragile planet on which we rely for life?

Can we not, once again, simply level the playing field for all of us?

Can we not all simply restore a value system that says to us and, indeed, to the entire world, there is a better way.  We have been there, done that, and know what we are talking about.      

What is to be lost by trying it?    

Cowboy Bob
The Sagebrush Philosopher

April 4, 2014