Confederate Flags, Roads, Schools, Military Installations and Monuments: Tear Down America’s Heritage of Hate
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Before he was America’s most famous traitor, Benedict Arnold earned a reputation for bravery and leadership as a high-ranking officer in the Continental Army. Of his many accomplishments, he helped win the first American victory of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga, where he surprised a sleeping British garrison, captured the fort and obtained much needed artillery for use in future battles.
Arnold was seriously wounded twice in battle, had his horse shot out from under him and nearly lost his leg. Refusing to allow amputation, his leg was crudely set, leaving it 2 inches shorter. After a short time convalescing, he returned to Valley Forge to the cheering of his men.
Arnold’s victory at the battle of Saratoga was instrumental in winning French support for the war, which ensured the colonist’s path to ultimate liberation from the British aristocracy. The French supplied 85% of the gunpowder for Continental Army, so, it’s safe to say, without Benedict Arnold, the war would have been lost.
There is only one monument to Benedict Arnold in the United States – the statue of a boot at Saratoga National Park with an inscription reading, “To the most brilliant soldier of the Continental army.” Commemorating the injury that ended his career on the battlefield, nowhere does the monument bear his name. You see, we don’t erect monuments to traitors. That is… unless the traitor is Southern.
Benedict Arnold did more for the cause of liberty than any Confederate traitor
It can safely be said that Benedict Arnold did more for the cause of liberty than any Confederate traitor. Quite the contrary, while Benedict Arnold was pivotal to the American Revolution’s ultimate triumph, Confederate traitors sought to limit the franchise of freedom by rallying around the worst cause for which any collection of idiots ever gathered – the “states right” to own other human beings.
In his “Cornerstone speech,” Alexander H. Stephens, Vice of the Confederate States, explained,
“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea [opposite of “racial equality”- ed]; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
Even back then, every day, was “opposite day” in conservative Bizarro World. In true, conservative, fashion, Stephens calls Northern abolitionists “insane” and “fanatics”, explaining,
“All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning.” He goes on, “One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails.”
For those who still insist on buying conservative revisionist history nullifying the inherent racist ugliness of their treason, please refer them the words of their own Confederate “heroes.”
Confederate monuments are meant to carry a subtext of white supremacy
The Jim Crow South was maintained via a systematic campaign of terrorism that went on for generations. Today, from the Supreme Court rolling back key sections of the Voting Rights Act, to the ongoing Republican voter suppression tactics to a legal system that disproportionately imprisons blacks, then takes away their rights to vote, the disenfranchisement of black Americans – especially in Southern states – continues. This is the Confederate “heritage.” The proliferation of monuments to the Confederacy honors “heritage,” alright – a heritage of white supremacy.
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Hypocrisy is like mother’s milk to the right wing Republicans. Couple that with their unbridled greed, and there’s no low too low for Republicans to sink in order to transform America from a democracy into an oligarchy.
They talk about how much they “love America” while dismantling the egalitarian democratic republic our founders – inspired by the Liberal Age of Enlightenment – fought a revolution to create. In addition to the hypocrisy of faux-patriotism, in direct defiance of the God they pretend to worship, who told them to pray in their closets, Republicans make a public show of religion, while championing every divisive, hateful, inhumane, kiss up/kick down, selfish evil that ever dared masquerade as a political philosophy.
Despite the fact that the Christian Bible Republicans wave like a cudgel sternly warns that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” Republican hypocrites are so self-aggrandizing and greed-centered, they no longer feel the need to hide their corruption. Now they’re turning government solely into an appendage to the affairs of billionaires right out in the cold light of day, confident that the right wing propaganda outlets that blanket this dying democracy from sea to shining sea will assure their victims that it’s all in the name of “freedom.”
CONservatives are abandoning the Sarah Palin bandwagon like greed-centered rats fleeing a sinking sociopath’s ship. With their new-found clarity, Bill Maher is suggesting they should now let go of the other failures they cling to – such as climate change denial and trickle down economics.
Frankly, Maher is being too generous.
Suggesting to Republicans that they abandon their failures assumes they don’t already know how disingenuous it is to cling to them. They’re not stupid, they’re putting on a show to convince the easily-led that that the GOP is trying as best they can to enable an economically-vibrant working class majority. They’re not. Quite the opposite.
“Trickle Down” economics was never meant to create an economically-vibrant working class. It was designed to turn “the Land of the Free” into the “United States of Serfs and Lords.” Like the team that coached Sarah Palin on how to play the part of Vice President in front of America, Republicans know that all they have is a “show.” They are masters of myth, branding and propaganda because they have to be. They even branded their trickle down voodoo, “Supply Side Economics,” to build a facade of legitimacy around it. Then they made up a chart that had no basis in history, reality or arithmetic, called it the “the Laffer curve,” and sent the actor, Ronald Reagan, out on stage to sell it to the dupes.
Here we are 30 plus years later, and the promise of shared prosperity has still not been realized. Although productivity has increased, the wages have stagnated, and all of the gains have gone to the top. Despite the promises, tax cuts have not paid for themselves, instead costing us trillions in revenue… so Republicans are coming for our lifelines. It’s time to recognize that this was all by design.
Former associate professor of information studies at the University of California, Philip Agre, nailed it. He wrote:
“The opposite of conservatism is democracy, and contempt for democracy is a constant thread in the history of conservative argument. Instead, conservatism has argued that society ought to be organized in a hierarchy of orders and classes and controlled by its uppermost hierarchical stratum, the aristocracy.”
Conservative ideology is quite simple, as old as recorded history and can be boiled down to 2 words: CHEAP LABOR – and they won’t stop until the middle class is permanently relegated to status they held in times past – compliant Serf.
One doesn’t have to stretch their imagination too far to glimpse the Republican vision for the future – just turn back the clock to the “gilded age” where super-rich robber barons ran government and lived in opulence while lording over the common people.
In 1932, while discussing wresting the country out of the FIRST Republican Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt suggested, “It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.”
So, let’s not continue to kid ourselves, Republicans aren’t “trying” to do anything but what they’ve always done – concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the wealthy and powerful.
Examples are legion. Recently, despite the fact that it will add 100 billion to deficit they whine about (as a convenient excuse to cut the lifelines of the politically-unconnected poor they suddenly, publically, supposedly care so much about), Paul Ryan proposed another tax break for the wealthy 1%. The Republican Party’s supposed “serious” “budget hawk” has only ever been an agent of oligarchy, with the nerve to whine that poor people are “takers” as he attempts to strip “unearned income” from the burden of taxes. In other words – in Ryan’s world, the intergenerational aristocracy living entirely off their trust funds get free rides on our backs.
Yes, conservatives may long for a 1950’s America for its rigid social and gender mores and racial hierarchies, but not for the progressive New Deal policies that built the greatest middle class the world had ever seen.
I’ve often said that I can’t wait for the day when it’s not possible for the corporate media propaganda to blare loud enough to drown out the misery inflicted by conservative policies and the people finally realize they’ve been played and demand a new progressive era. Then, I wonder if that day will ever arrive.
Recently, Republicans toying with the idea of a presidential run paraded themselves in front of the Koch Brothers, and the corporate media reported this disgraceful assault on democracy as if it were the exact system our founders fought a revolution to entrust to us.
NPR reported that Marco “thirsty for Plutocracy” Rubio assured his plutocratic masters that political spending “is a form of political speech protected under the Constitution.”
[Ted] Cruz brought up Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s harsh attacks on the Koch brothers in Senate floor speeches last year. Reid, then the majority leader, had called the brothers ‘un-American.’
Cruz said Reid’s speeches were ‘grotesque and offensive.’ As audience members applauded, Cruz said the Kochs ‘have stood up for free enterprise principles and endured vilification with equanimity and grace.'” Read the entire NPR account, here.
You see, for all the (made in China) American flag lapel pins they wear, conservatives are the true heirs to the British Loyalists. They are the enemies of democracy and enablers of plutocracy dragging us back to the very system our Founders fought a revolution to escape – namely one where the rich own and run everything while everyone else stays compliantly in their “natural” place, awaiting their rewards in Heaven.
We have been here before. In 1936, during the first Republican Great Depression that followed the first Gilded Age, FDR described, “…privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.” Read the full speech, here.
Roosevelt rightly compared the threat to freedom posed by the new entrenched aristocracy as the latest assault on the experiment in self-governance, birthed in the Liberal Age of Enlightenment, that was always under attack by the powerful and privileged few.
But FDR did not have to contend with unlimited, unfettered, unprecedented legal bribes being poured into the system.
You see, while Fox News lulls right wing dupes into complicity with stories how “American Sniper” Chris Kyle made them “free” by killing citizens of a country that never attacked us, the rest of the world understands what’s really going on – namely, the dream that was American democracy is a sham.
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Dick Cheney, the man who received five deferments from wearing the uniform of this nation because, in his words, he had “better things to do” continues to endanger and disgrace Americans at home and abroad by defending his authorization of a crime against humanity.
As the disgusting secrets of the CIA, Cheney-sanctioned, torture program emerge, Cheney, his co-conspirators, and stupid-and-cowardly-enough-to-vote-Republican supporters continue to attempt to justify their crimes. One justification is that torture “worked.” This, of course, is a bald-faced lie that goes against military training, as well as empirical evidence. The US Army’s Training Manual, states:
The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to unpleasant and inhumane treatment of any kind is prohibited by law and is neither authorized nor condoned by the US Government. Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.
According to the US Senate’s report on the CIA’s use of torture, the agency’s own records found that torture “was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation.” The CIA itself was aware torture didn’t work, the report states:
… prior to the attacks of September 2001, the CIA itself determined from its own experience with coercive interrogations, that such techniques ‘do not produce intelligence,’ ‘will probably result in false answers,’ and had historically proven to be ineffective.
So what happened? Well, just as Bush “fixed the facts around the policy” of an illegal invasion of a country that didn’t attack us, as the Guardian of the UK reports, “the CIA rounded up dubious experts, and built a research community that was basically divorced from reality.”
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What the loss of a Democratic Senate will mean for our future depends on what President Obama is willing to stand up and fight for.
The corporate media picked a narrative about the election months ago, and they’re hanging on to it like a rabid dog on a chicken wing – and that’s the one about “President Barack Obama’s plummeting approval ratings.” Fact is, though the president’s approval ratings aren’t great, they’re higher than the lowest of any President since John F. Kennedy. Including Republican patron saint Ronald Reagan. Check it out for yourself, here.
But now we watch the corporate media urge the President to move right to “get things done.” Yeah! Push more of the same horrible Republican ideas that crashed the economy twice in 100 years because at least you can say you “got it done.”
The fact is, this election wasn’t a Republican “wave” – it was the triumph of money and apathy. Democrats lost because they didn’t give democrats anything to rally around, running away from a record – and a president – they should be embracing.
Progressive issues won in the deepest of red states. In ballot initiatives, Americans voted for higher minimum wages, legal pot, abortion access, sick pay leave, background checks on gun purchases and fracking bans… and then voted for representatives who stand in the way of all those things.
This Labor Day, to say that it’s a difficult time for American workers would be an understatement. Those not lucky enough to be born with a trust fund are still suffering the brunt of the economic disaster they didn’t create – and with President Obama’s penchant to “welcome” the same “Republican ideas” that destroyed us to begin with, there’s little to to suggest that the situation will improve any time soon.
While our “betters” in Washington sip from $350 bottles of wine as they plot the further destruction of the American Middle class, we need to remember that the Republican assault on organized Labor is an assault on ALL workers. A major new study from Harvard suggests that the decline of unions is responsible for a full third of the growth in income inequality for male workers. “Our study underscores the role of unions as an equalizing force in the labor market,” says Harvard sociology professor Bruce Western. Source: Mother Jones
President Obama likes to spread the erroneous platitude that, “Wall Street and Main Street rise and fall as one nation” when the entities unquestionably linked are Labor Unions and an economically-vibrant middle class.
graph from ThinkProgress
WATCH Rachel Maddow discuss the link between Labor Unions and the Middle Class with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America:
|Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in AmericaLabor & Industrial Relations Books)|
This Labor Day, as those fortunate enough to have a job are celebrating a well-deserved day off, and millions others are travailing the uncertainty of life during 30 years of the Reaganomics War against the middle class, let’s not forget the workers who fought, bled and died to create a better quality of life for themselves, their families and those yet to be born.
Sadly, Faux News propaganda works 24-7 to convince the willfully ignorant that we live and die under the benevolence of the American Oligarchs who pay less in taxes than they have in generations, yet cry they pay too much… deceptively citing their percentage of tax revenue, yet neglecting the fact that the top 1% now control near 50% of the wealth… while their corporations don’t even have the decency to pay any taxes at all. These are the TRUE PARASITES… living off labor of working Americans. Con think tanks distract from these corporate crimes by inciting workers to fight amongst each other… lest we remember that everything good about our standard of living came as a result of the organized labor movement.
WATCH: STOP THE LIES… Public Service Workers Under Attack:
Labor Is Superior To Capital
Despite Abraham Lincoln’s assertion, “Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration”… the modern Republican agenda can be boiled down to 2 words: CHEAP LABOR.
If Capitalists can no longer exploit slaves, they will seek to pay workers the least amount they can get away with for the sake of profit. The history of Capitalism is merciless. It enslaved nations, split up families and left generations in poverty suffering with broken backs and broken minds.
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Republicans are great at branding because they have to be. They don’t have a record to stand on. …. They whine about “the Obama recession… or the Obama, Reid Pelosi Bailout,” because members of the so-called “party of personal responsibility” only stick to that motto when cutting people’s lifelines.
No one personifies this refusal to take responsibility for failure than Dick Cheney. The walking, breathing embodiment of the fact that Republicans have no allegiance to country or community, only power and profit.
Cheney isn’t a public servant who wants government to serve all citizens, rich and poor… He sought public office because he uses war like a substitute for Viagra.
He recently said that America shouldn’t spend money of social programs or infrastructure – just more war!
Now, Chickenhawk Cheney and the psychopathic daughter he’s trying to make relevant before his harvested human heart (…and yes… in true sociopathic form, the heart donor is irrelevant to Cheney) finally craps out are trying to blame President Obama for the civil war in Iraq.
But the troops weren’t withdrawn just because of a campaign promise. They left because the Iraqi government refused to let them stay.
It’s said that if you want to truly know a person, then meet their friends… and also look at who they admire.
That’s right… In her journals, Rand wrote glowingly that child murderer and dismemberer was a “real man” with “…no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people…”
Ayn Rand ideologues include Alan Greenspan, who publicly stated that his job was to create “worker insecurity” as a way of keeping the Serfs from rising up against their Sovereign Lords and whose “supply-side” economic fraud has plunged the world towards yet another Republican Great Depression while making a handful of people filthy rich; Clarence Thomas, who assigns Rand’s “The Fountainhead” as required reading for all his law clerks; Rush Limbaugh, who believes “some people were just born to be slaves“; Glenn Beck, who is literally building an Ayn Rand-inspired city; and Lyin’ Paul Ryan, who credits Rand with influencing his interest in politics. Recently, though, Ryan has tried to assert that his obsession with Ayn Rand was an “urban legend,” Seems her atheism upset the dupes he’s been trying to convince of his love of Jesus. Never mind the fact that we have him on tape singing her praises. One of the hallmark characteristics of sociopathy is believing everyone is stupid enough to fall for blatant lies – even when the sociopath is caught red-handed.
Normal people (non-Republicans) view Rand’s affinity for a self-serving, child murdering and dismembering psychopath as a “real man” as a window into a dark mind to be, at the most, analyzed but not emulated. Yet, Republicans idolize her – like she idolized Hickman.
We’ve now endured years of watching this sickness play out on a national stage with Ayn Rand Republicans undermining everything from education, health care to child labor laws –things healthy societies embrace as a matter of course.
Let these twisted souls convince each other that they are the pivots that turn the Earth’s access, but we must never reorganize our society to suit the sickest among us.
Personally, I hope right wingers make good on their threats and finally “Go Galt” on us. This is a reference to and Ayn Rand character in “Atlas Shrugged” who triggers the collapse of society by leading a strike of the elite.
It’s been a year since Republicans did their “autopsy” on why they lost the presidential election, which… forgive me… but aren’t autopsies done on dead things? Well, anyway…
Republicans found out that the stinking corpse that is conservatism doesn’t appeal to all sorts of people… black people… young people … lgbt people… female people… people who want to breathe fresh air…. People who like non-poisonous food… people who want to get paid a living wage… people with intellectual curiosity…. people who have empathy…. Basically, all normal people who aren’t pale, stale and male.
So… For a minute there, the GOP tried to rebrand itself as the party for everyone – by telling everyone just what lazy, welfare dependent parasites they are.