Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"What watch? Ten watch."

Today is Wednesday, 15 September 2010.

An Associated Press story* which ran Sunday past in the local newspaper had this lead: “The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama’s watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty”.

“On President Barack Obama’s watch”. There’s a vague “truthiness”, in that the news of the increase in poverty will be reported during Obama’s presidency, but that’s not how it will be read by many people, as vastly ignorant of logic, history, and economics as a vast number of Americans are, and will assume that this means “under President Barack Obama’s responsibility”, and therefore the lead is actually misleading and less than truthful.

The offending phrase should have been eliminated. The second sentence should have read, “The increase in poverty levels is due, in the short term, to reactionary Republican policies which favour the upper class, and, in the long term, to the inefficiencies, inequalities, and injustices inherent in the nature of capitalism itself”.

“It’s not that people are born stupid, but that they are made stupid by the impact of overwhelming power, a stupidity which serves those who wield that power.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, After Ten Years) That is, it’s not accidental that Americans (and residents of any capitalist economy) are conditioned to expect immediate gratification in matters of politics and economics, as well as in consumerism.

“Why hasn’t Obama turned back the clock on 30 years of damaging Republican policies and fixed everything in the last twenty months? He’s a failure!” With deliberately-conditioned short attention spans, and the failures in most nations to educate in logical thinking, most people are manipulated into seldom analyzing for themselves the reasons behind poverty, war, bigotry, etc., and thus are open to manipulation and damage by ruling elites.

Thus, many Americans fall for the Republican scam of wishing to preserve the W.Bush/Cheney tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans, falsely assuming that this will somehow lift the economy back to pre-Republican Great Recession levels.

Pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

* By Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti.

On this date in 1963, a Ku Klux Klan terrorist unit bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Addie Mae Collins (14), Denise McNair (11), Carole Robertson (14), and Cynthia Wesley (14) were assassinated.

On this date in 2008, the W.Bush/Cheney regime having refused to “bail out” Lehman Brothers (when of course they should have nationalized it), the latter filed for bankruptcy, the proximate trigger of the Republican Great Recession. It was the largest bankruptcy filing in USA/USE history.


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