A moment of Zen as it were. Is it a choice is your options are restricted to only two options? On that same point, is it a Democracy if your vote is restricted to one of two equally repugnant selections? Imagine if a ruffian approached you menacingly and at the last minute says “I’m going to knock your block off, but you get to choose between a punch to the nose or a wallop to your gut”, will you feel better knowing that you are about to get a savage blow because you had a hand in selecting which hand will break you? Of course not.
Yet sadly, this is what we have been conditioned to accept about our elections, it has gotten to the point where people say that voting for any option other than Democrats or Republicans is wasting a vote. Wasting a vote is pulling a lever for either Republicans or Democrats, I would rather get my nose broken by a ruffian than get my hopes dashed by two-faced politicians. You won’t hear this type of analysis in our equally bankrupt corporate media because their role is to keep people programmed to accept this duopoly and perpetuate the myth that we are a Democracy.
Ergo, the reason d’etre of the Daily Ghion Water, we refuse to partake in the shell game of politics as it is and instead envision a world of governance and media as it should be. Thus, without further ado, here is your daily news and notes from independent media and non-corporate voices from around the world.
The Scam of our PolyTricks
Kimberly-Clark’s layoffs are just the latest evidence that few companies see their tax cuts as a way to enrich their workers and invest in their communities. On Monday, Bank of America announced it would do away with free online checking accounts, despite its expected $3.5 billion tax cut, while companies including Verizon and Exxon Mobil said before the law was passed that their savings would go to their shareholders.
The company’s 2017 revenue was $18.3 billion, but executives have raised concerns about falling sales over the past four years. Kimberly-Clark was subject to a 28.6 percent tax rate in 2017, which will drop to between 23 and 26 percent in 2018—but tax policy analysts say its effective tax rate has actually been much lower. [from Common Dreams]
The Jeff Bezos Compost
The Washington Post exemplified the issue when it published an article erroneously titled: “Ecuador’s president calls Julian Assange ‘more than a nuisance.” The article in question incorrectly referenced Assange in the following incorrect terms: “the WikiLeaks founder was wanted in Sweden on sexual assault charges. Those have since been dropped. ” Assange was never charged with sexual assault, and Sweden ended their investigation into the subject.
Although false narratives around Wikileaks are nothing new for establishment press, the latest smear attempts are particularly important due to the precarious nature of Assange’s current position. [from Disobedient Media]
To put it in Clintonese: It’s the advertising model, stupid. We love to think our corporate heroes are somehow super human, capable of understanding what’s otherwise incomprehensible to mere mortals like the rest of us. But Facebook is simply too large an ecosystem for one person to fix. And anyway, his hands are tied from doing so. So instead, he’s doing what people (especially engineers) always do when the problem is so existential they can’t wrap their minds around it: He’s redefining the problem and breaking it into constituent parts. [from News Co]
Neocon and Neoliberal Watch (they are the same thing)
The top Democrats in Congress have transformed DACA, the effort to protect 800,000 childhood immigrants from deportation, into a gargantuan funding measure for the Pentagon. This past weekend, Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer offered to fully fund Donald Trump’s border wall and boost defense spending “far above ” what the White House requested, in a deal to end the government shutdown. The military budget signed into law in December was already $30 billion higher than the White House asked for, and $80 billion bigger than the previous year’s war spending — an increase as large as Russia’s entire defense budget. [from Black Agenda Report]
Sprinting Towards Despotism
If a new bill in the Washington State legislature is passed, commanders of military bases could have the power to impact land use planning anywhere in the state. Critics of the bill fear it would be a slide down the slippery slope of allowing the military free reign to do what it wants—wherever it wants to do it—within the state, with little or no recourse by the citizens it could impact. For example, the Navy, which has already expressed a desire to control marine traffic along Puget Sound’s Hood Canal region, could decide to close the waterway to all civilian traffic. Another Navy wish has been to end civilian drone traffic over civilian land near its bases—and it could decide to end it over the entire state. [from Truth-Out]
Honoring Truth Tellers
In one of his last public comments, Ethiopian journalist Ibrahim Shafi wrote on his Facebook page: “Wake me up when I have a state.” Not two weeks later, Shafi died in Nairobi, Kenya. His comment shed light on the deep personal toll of Ethiopia’s enduring political crisis that has swept the country over the last three years that sent Ibrahim into exile. Ibrahim had worked as journalist covering sports and politics for nearly a decade, until he he no choice but to flee in 2014. Ibrahim, who was 40 at the time of his death, was not alone. He left for Nairobi, Kenya in June 2014, on a path taken by hundreds of Ethiopian journalists over the last twenty years. [from Global Voices]
Waiting for the 100th Monkey
This Day in History
1919 – The League of Nations plan is adopted by the Allies. This would prove to be the opening salvo of the New World Order which later showed how feckless it was when the League ignored the plight of Ethiopians as Musolini unleashed a chemical holocaust against “Africa’s” lone un-colonized nation. King Haile Selassie warned the League of Nations that as Ethiopia suffers, the fire would land at the doorsteps of Europe. World inaction proved Selassie’s warning to be prophetic.
Quote of the Day
“Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.” ~ Aristotle
Profiled This Day
The profile picture chosen for today is not so much a meme as it is a fact of our Democracy. If we do not find a way to stop viewing life through the prism of ideology and accepting this farcical Republican/Democrat duopoly, what we will get is this very government that we have before us. 93% of registered voters disapprove of Congress and less than 40% approve of Donald Trump. When you add in people who refuse to vote and partake in this left/right shamocracy, what you have is a vast, vast majority of Americans who give our government a vote of no confidence.
Another way of saying this is that we are being taxed without consent and being led by a government that is clearly illegitimate in the eyes of Americans. We have to muster the conviction to stop voting for the status quo and being conditioned to accept the “lesser of two evils”. The lesser of two evils is still evil. How about we have the true audacity to think outside of the lanes that are constructed for us?
Closing thought, imagine you tell someone you don’t like cucumbers only for your next birthday present someone gives you two pounds of eggplants. When you ask what gives, they tell you “well you said you hate cucumbers so you must love eggplants”. That sounds outlandish and you will think maybe your friend needs professional evaluation right?
Apply that logic to people who think I’m a Trump supporter because I dare to criticize Obama or vice versa. #No2Shamocracy
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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.