The Hypnosis of Pretty Words

As the media cycle continues to drag out the non-scandal/story of Beyonce’s vocals being pre-recorded for President Obama’s inauguration and the faked death of football player Manti Te’0’s imaginary girlfriend, there is heated, political theater going on around gun control in our country and daily, U.S.-ordered drone strikes killing innocent people in other countries.  As usual, the media cycle barely reports on these stories in any meaningful way that will allow the public to contribute an informed opinion on things that directly affect our safety.  Of course, media is just fulfilling its role as a government/corporate tool used to control the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of citizens so they remain compliant, misinformed and distracted from the real issues.

I bring this up because now, more than ever, we can break the hold of media manipulation as it has become much easier to see through but only if we cease  believing and going along with things that we know are not true.  I call this phenomenon “the hypnosis of pretty words.”  For example, citizens believe that “every vote counts” even though there is an electoral college system in place that is not beholden to reflect the popular vote.  We saw this play out in the 2000 election that declared George W. Bush, Jr. as the winner even though the popular vote was in Al Gore’s favor.  Yet, for all the outrage voiced by voters across the country, we did absolutely nothing to change this antiquated system even though we saw its ramifications.  How can we say we live in a democracy when we know that the electoral process can and has been used to usurp the majority’s will?

More recently, as we commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and legacy, which many believe is the  election and re-election of President Obama,  I once again listened to the late Dr. King’s Beyond Vietnam speech and lamented the fact that so much of what he said about America being “the greatest purveyor of violence” remains true.  Even as President Obama waxed poetically about “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war, ” he ordered drones strikes in Yemen the previous day that killed several people who allegedly were “suspected” in being linked to Al Qaeda. The President has also been responsible for drone attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia that have killed hundreds of civilians, 200 of which were children.  This is the hypnosis of pretty words combined with a charismatic orator and a corporate/government controlled media.

As Obama’s supporter gathered to fill the capitol and celebrate his second term in office believing the hype that “their voices were heard,”  I must ask why those same voices have remained deafeningly silent about their President’s actions such as extending the Patriot  and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Acts that allow people to be wiretapped without warrant, incarcerated and tortured in any number of “black sites” across the world indefinitely without formal charges filed,  and no right to legal representation?  Is that what so many of my friends who proclaim their love and admiration for President Obama in their Facebook posts support?  I wonder if Michelle Obama has questioned her husband’s decision to place the former VP of notorious pesticide/GMO manufacturer Monsanto into the top FDA Commissioner advisory position though she has been a staunch advocate of eating healthy  even planting an organic vegetable garden at the White House.  Has she fallen under the spell of pretty words, too?

I will give credit to President Obama for sounding the call for his supporters to spring into action in both his inaugural addresses.  The problem is that very few of his supporters have done anything other than vote every two to four years and we all know how effective that has been.  How are our voices being heard if our elected officials are not asking us what are our concerns and issues in our communities?  They certainly can’t find out when the majority of their time is spent in Washington.  The truth of the matter is that politicians in either party don’t give a damn about representing the interests of average citizens who pay their salaries, benefits, and retirement plans (that are far superior than our own) because they receive far greater compensation from corporate and other special interests in the form of legalized bribes known as lobbying and campaign contributions.  Think about it.  Our government has not pressed charges against the institutions and individuals (other than Bernie Madoff) for their reckless and fraudulent behavior that caused the 2008 global financial crisis.  Nor have they prosecuted any of the banks that have laundered money for terrorists and drug cartels (Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, HSBC).  Instead, our government loaned them TRILLIONS of dollars at zer0-percent interest!  Thanks to the media, the part of the story of how those same institutions made out like bandits by placing bets against the unqualified consumer borrowers, who they knew would default on their loans, was never told.

Something that greatly concerns me is that so many of us continue to believe that our military is fighting for freedom and democracy when the truth is staring us right in the face.  Our government invaded Iraq and Afghanistan to steal the natural resources of those countries on behalf of the oil companies and defense contractors who made campaign and lobbying contributions.  Yet, we do little stop the killing of the innocent people in those countries because we accept them being labeled as terrorists even though our country is doing the terrorizing.  How easily we forget this “great nation” was actually founded upon murder of indigenous people, slavery and discrimination.  What makes this country truly great is the strength and sacrifice of the oppressed people who fought back against these government-sponsored atrocities to make life better in the hopes of helping the nation realize the ideals we find in the Constitution.

Perhaps it is because things are comparatively better in this country than it once was and that oppression is now more subtle are reasons there is little protest or resistance.  Why aren’t we saying anything about the pharmaceuticals with serious, life-threatening side effects being advertised on TV?  Why aren’t we drafting legislation to reverse the silly notion that corporations are people and that their money is considered free speech to unduly influence elections and office holders?  Maybe we feel overwhelmed by the enormity and complexity of our social problems or insecure about our ability to solve them.  Or are we so swayed by pretty words and media manipulation that we don’t feel there’s anything pressing enough for us act upon.  However, after having quite a few conversations with people in both the physical and cyber worlds, I am greatly encouraged that there are lots of people who have not been hypnotized.  So, it is with the hope and faith that sharing my knowledge and insights with others in this blog will provoke more people to exercise the consciousness and independent thinking necessary to free themselves of the societal conditioning that keeps them oppressed in ways not even realized.

Each week, Call 2 Consciousness will feature unique perspectives that challenge the pop culture narrative of the events and issues that matter most.

Changing the world is as easy as changing your mind.

Suggested reading:

Banks Financing Mexico Gangs – Bloomberg.com

About the Electoral College and Electors

The Health Care Reform Debate Lie

March 17, 2010

My Fellow Citizens:

Once again, you have been duped by those you elected into office to represent your best interests and the mainstream media.  For nearly a year, we have all read the headline or watched various TV network news anchors tell us how the debate about health care reform is raging in this country.  However, they omitted one VERY important fact:  The average citizen had absolutely NO input into this now 2,700-page ransom payment to the health care insurance industry.  What the public is currently discussing is nothing more than the paltry offerings that were left after Congress took their legalized bribes (lobbying/campaign contributions) and let the very industry that needs to be reformed, due to their deliberate abuses, write the legislation meant to keep them in check.  Unfortunately, that is the order of business in the governance of this country — let the foxes guard the hen house.

I find it very disturbing the average citizen in this country is either unaware or is in favor of one of the provisions of the current health care “reform” bill mandating that Americans purchase PRIVATE health care insurance or be fined.  How is it that President Obama went from being a champion of universal health care to providing the health care insurance industry with captive customers?  News flash:  We don’t need health care insurance, we need HEALTH CARE!

Politicians, health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations will drag us all into the grave fighting against providing EVERY person in this country with medical care.  It’s a pretty stupid position for them to take considering that they ALL rely on us as consumers and they are more interested in money than in wellness.  And that’s where I feel this debate needs to start.  We are now in the 21st century at the pinnacle of scientific/technological progress and yet we have bought into the notion that our health/illnesses are something from which to gain profit for others.  There is no disputing that EVERYONE needs medical care, both preventive and intervening.  Yet, the average person cannot afford to pay for a routine medical examination because the cost is astronomical.  Why is that?  There are more than enough people, knowledge, equipment and facilities to make medical care accessible to all but there is always the excuse that there is not enough money to pay for universal health care.  This is another lie that can easily be exposed.  Our government spends over $663 billion in defense (war), $19 billion in politician pork projects, and over $6 TRILLION in government-sponsored (taxpayer) corporate bailouts (2008-2010).

If you don’t believe your government is playing us for fools, let me ask you these important questions:

This health care “reform” bill affects citizens the most.  Why don’t we have input into its contents and put it up for a ballot vote ?

Why are we letting politicians tell us we can’t afford universal health care when we are the ones paying for their “Cadillac” health insurance plans?

What is the purpose of a health insurance company other than to make profits off your premium payments while they deny life-saving medical procedures and treatments to ensure that those profits are not decreased by your medical condition?

The U.S. government spends our hard-earned money on everything else except us.  Now, they want us to increase our contribution to perpetuating an utterly broken and amoral health insurance industry that has proven it is not concerned with health and wellness at all.

Debate that, America!

 

What Will It Take, America?

October 4, 2009

My fellow Americans, our democracy is broken and we must be the ones to fix it.  For far too long, we have allowed ourselves to be excluded from making the most important decisions about laws and policies that affect our lives.  Never has this been more obvious and dangerous than in the past 10 years.

I thought we might come together as citizens to demand that the electoral college be abolished after the 2000 Presidential election proved to us that “every vote does NOT count.”  We did nothing.

I thought when it was revealed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq nor did that country have ANYTHING to do with the 9/11 attacks, we would demand that our government and military withdraw.  We protested in the streets but we did nothing to save the lives of our servicemen and women or the lives of the Iraqi people.

I thought when hurricanes Katrina and Rita decimated the Gulf Coast in 2005 and our government not only did a pitiful job of responding but ordered a National Guard unit to keep evacuees from crossing the Crescent City Connection bridge into another town for safety and shelter at gunpoint like they were illegal aliens, we would demand FEMA personnel be fired and the residents receive all the assistance required.  Again, we did nothing save our own individual efforts.

I thought when we learned the passing of the Patriot Act made us subject to warrantless wiretaps, being detained and tortured at black ops sites in other countries indefinitely without formal charges being filed just on the SUSPICION of terrorist activity, we would demand that the law be repealed.  Still, we did nothing.

I thought when former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ran to President Bush and Congress with the ridiculous story that if our government did not hand over nearly $1 trillion to the thieves on Wall Street and in the banking industry, the U.S. economy would collapse, we would demand that our government tell them “tough luck.”  Actually, this is EXACTLY what we did and Congress blatantly disregarded millions of our phone calls anyway.

Last week, the Senate Finance Committee rejected the public option for health care even though a CLEAR majority of people in this country are in favor of it.  These are the same people who have their health care insurance, salaries, and retirement funds paid for with OUR money!!!  These are the same people that get to vote on their own raises when their approval rating is in the toilet! America, do you believe change will come simply because we voted someone in office?  Don’t you see that both the Democratic and Republican parties have abandoned their constitutional duties to the citizens for legalized bribes that we call lobbying?

Think about it.  When it comes to drafting legislation to regulate the abuses of a certain industry, it is ALWAYS those who are guilty of said abuses that are writing the laws and paying our government to pass them.  It happened with legislation that was supposed to regulate the mortgage, banking/credit card, oil, and now health insurance industries.  Corporate and special interest money has corrupted EVERY branch of government until check and balances and conflicts of interests no longer exist.  You see, it is not just about crooked politicians.  It is about whole societal systems that are broken and unjust.  Our current systems will NEVER come close to providing equality and prosperity for the masses.

Until we can somehow put aside our petty and superficial differences such as right wing/left wing, liberal/conservative, black/white, straight/gay, and Christian/Non-believer, our power will remain diluted and our efforts will be nothing but a fragmented, ineffective mess.  Traditional protests don’t work because marching in D.C. nowhere near Congress or the President isn’t going to get their attention.  Instead, we must be bold in our actions and march straight into the chambers of Congress.  Despite how they have sold us out to corporatism, they still work for us and we have a constitutional right not only to have our grievances addressed but to call a constitutional convention so we can take away the privileges Congress most assuredly does not deserve.

What will it take for us to REALLY do something, America?  A stolen election?  The illegal occupation of another country?  Our fellow countrymen left to drown?  Denial of medical care?  Loss of privacy?  Catastrophic unemployment? Theft of our children’s and grandchildren’s future earnings? Being owned by China? Torture?  All of these things and more have already happened and continue to happen with little to no sustained resistance from us.  How much further are we willing to be oppressed by the very people who we elected to represent us?

Defend your freedom and democracy by demanding that lobbying be banned from politics permanently.  Do not cease in your efforts until this is achieved no matter how many obstacles or setbacks you encounter. Otherwise, your voice will never be heard and we might as well rename this country “The Corporate States of America.”

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