Something to ponder for the day before you take part in the mainstream media attempt to rile up our emotions. Politics is for the people so we can fight over style, policies are for the powerful who determine the substance of our government. As we bicker about the irrelevant and treat politics like a sport, the oligarchy are using their affluence and influence to bend politicians and our government at their will. Think about that the next time mainstream media, which is also owned by plutocrats like Jeff Bezos and Rupert Murdoch, tries to agitate you into derangement with their outrage de jure.
They feed us red meat to condition us like Pavlov’s dogs so that we never look behind the curtains and see who is really running this government. Though if you look closely enough, for example the Senate confirming yet another bankster to head the Federal Reserve, your eyes will open and you will realize that our Democracy is nothing but window dressing. This is why we have the Daily Ghion Water, it’s our way to highlight independent journalists and non-corporate voices who are intent on honoring the principles of journalism instead and speaking truth to power instead of getting paid by the powerful. Without further ado, here is your Daily Ghion Water.
Free Markets and Capitalism You Say?
All economic paradigms (so far) have included markets in one way or another, from ancient empires to European feudalism, mercantilism, and capitalism. Markets are pretty cool and there are even coherent ideas about “market socialism” that involve changing the scope of what is considered property while maintaining the free markets for other commodities. But whether you appreciate markets or not, the issue of what is bought and sold on the market is a really important issue that needs to be weighed carefully. Ask yourself — does exchanging trinkets in a market seem just as okay as exchanging the pelts of endangered animals? Should anyone own the sky? Are you okay with the idea of a business observing your online activity and selling informative reports about you? How does it feel to consider the idea of buying and selling human beings on the market? How about their houses? If you feel differently about those ideas (and I hope you do), it should be easy to see that the idea of property is socially determined — it’s a participatory thing. And if you feel the same about them — well, maybe you are a capitalist after all… [from John Laurits]
McCarthyism on the Rise
Two days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, Rachel Maddow did one of the innumerable tinfoil hat Russiagate conspiracy segments that have become the singular distinguishing feature of her career — but this time with a little twist. In an elaborate monologue that was only believable to people who desperately wanted to believe it, Maddow paced her audience through some information about the way the Soviet Union’s KGB used to gather compromising footage of rivals in order to sabotage them politically or blackmail them. Using the hilarious argument that the FSB is only two letters different from the KGB, the fact that Vladimir Putin was in the KGB, and the incredible allegations in the Steele dossier about Trump’s erotic romp with a gaggle of well-hydrated Russian prostitutes, Maddow attempted to make it seem perfectly plausible that this same president whose alleged affair with a porn star is being dismissed with a shrug by most Americans could be blackmailed into treason with a sex tape. [from Caitlin Johnstone]
Make America Grand (wizard) Again
Trump’s racism stretches back decades to his formative years in the 1970s as a young New York City real estate developer, when the Justice Department accused him and his father of housing discrimination. The president’s racist past also includes, but is by no means limited to, the full-page ads he took out in New York City newspapers in 1989 to urge the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers who had been accused of brutally raping a white woman in Central Park. Although they were convicted, the five defendants were vindicated in 2002 after another man confessed to the rape, and DNA testing corroborated his guilt. [from Truthdig]
About the Duplicitous Natural Crooks (DNC)
We may be headed for a national crackup of epic proportions thanks to current Democratic leadership. The next electoral opportunity for the failed electoral revolt of 2016 to succeed is the congressional election of 2018, yet Democratic leaders seem determined to turn one more wave opportunity into another squeaker, just as they did in 2016. To be clear, all of the anger exemplified above comes from potential Democratic voters — the next wave, if you will, of what would have been their new base — a group of voters now so disgusted with both parties that they may well stay home in droves for most of a generation. Having watched the Democrats casually and deliberately screw over Sanders, then crow about their win (“not a Democrat; not one of us; deserves what he got”); having watched Democrats, time and again, prove they’ve not changed at all — many of these potential voters have settled in neither camp, hating both and trusting no one at all, save maybe Sanders. [from Naked Capitalism]
Because the Bill of Rights are more like Guidelines
Media coverage of the reauthorization of FISA 702 has been markedly tepid in recent weeks, often echoing the sentiments of establishment think tanks. CNN’s coverage on the issue was stridently pro-NSA, titled: “Senate must pass FISA Section 702 to protect Americans.” CNN’s article remarkably paralleled the Heritage Foundation, who wrote: “Renewal of FISA’s Section 702: Why America Needs the Provision.” That a supposedly left-leaning press outlet and a conservative think-tank are echoing the same chorus line is particularly noteworthy. This consensus between legacy press outlets and a right-wing think tank represents an example of what Disobedient Media has previously characterized as an immaterial division between “left” and “right” wing factions within the establishment. The real unanimity between these apparently opposing sides is revealed by their agreement on issues like FISA. [from Disobedient Media]
Cancerous Capitalism Watch
At this point, we should be calling last year, “The Year of the Billionaire,” because a new billionaire was created EVERY TWO DAYS! And no, this is not a sign of a healthy economic system. According to the executive director of Oxfam International, Winnie Byanyima, “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system. The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors.” [from Lee Camp]
The Pathology of the Rich
This Day in History
1980 – In a rebuff to the Soviets, the U.S. announces intentions to sell arms to China. You see, this is how the military-financial hustle works, first you arm a side to the teeth, make fortunes on the front end, only to make even more money on the back end by turning the very same people you armed into bogeymen to justify more spending on “defense”. As always patriotism is sold by the rich and borne by the poor.
Quote of the Day
“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
Profiled This Day
Today’s profile picture is paying homage to the duplicity of our politicians. I mentioned in the opening how politics is for the people and policies are for the powerful. Let the picture of Michelle Obama giving a big warm hug to Bush be a stark reminder that Democrats and Republicans are the same beasts in different Armani suits (some things need to be repeated before they sink in). But as much as I want to blame the two faced politicians who perpetuate this duopoly and fraud on the public, perhaps we should look within because ultimately we are the ones who power this deception.
Remember when liberals used to be pissed off at the war criminal Bush? Now some pine for W because the “prisoner of the moment” syndrome is always making us old outrage in order to make us focus on the newest derangement. Until we stop looking at this world through the lens of ideology and until we stop letting tribalism determine our ethics, we will continue getting the government we deserve. As we fight over politics, the DNC, RNC and their plutocratic masters are laughing at all of us. #HoodwinkingUS
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.