America: What Went Wrong?
a book by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele
(our site's book review)
Asking the question, "what went wrong," two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, present a sweeping critique of a specific two decades of American history, concluding that short-sighted greed in business and government has undermined the American dream. This was 1992 and they were referring to 1972 to 1992. Today, it is 2017. One can easily guess what an update of the book would contain, since darn near everything "went wrong"!
Short-sighted greed in business and government has undermined the American dream
So when Bartlett and Steele's "doomsday" scenarios came true in 2008, we ought to note that they were predicted by these authors 16 years before they happened. Today, a large transfer of wealth is taking place and the middle class is being dismantled while the social programs are cut and the wealthy get tax breaks thanks to both Bush and Obama. It's way past time that the citizens cry foul—their representatives represent special interests only. And how could they not? Look who pays the re-election costs.
The game is rigged, the fix is in, and few Americans think there is a damned thing they can do about it. See Who Will Tell The People?: The Betrayal Of American Democracy. We're entering an era of extreme wealth surrounded by masses of poor Americans—like South America. We are now returning to those Depression-era conditions and the rich laugh all the way to the bank. Wouldn't it be great if we could throw the bums out and put in real statesmen and stateswomen who would act morally rather than greedily? However the two parties BOTH contain these greedy bums, making the idea of the public VOTING for someone who'll have integrity and not sell out to the corporatocracy little more than a sick joke. NOW what?! If this sounds like democracy to you, you've been smoking too much wacky tobacky.
Feudalism: serfs carry royalty—that's the ugly direction the United States of America is heading
However, there is something all this DOES sound like—in fact, TWO somethings: feudalism and oligarchy. (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.) In feudalism, we get the nightmare of a society of serfs serving the aristocracy in whatever way these power-mongers decree—we're not to that point quite yet but we're rushing toward it like lawyers to a car accident. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about oligarchy. We are already there, folks.
United State's First Amendment to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights makes promises our oligarchy government has no desire or intention of keeping
United State's First Amendment to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." This amendment implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state, but that interference from the state is systematic and insidious and part of how the powers-that-be ensure that greedy opportunists like them stay in power and real statesmen and stateswomen have no chance of getting elected and shutting down the abuses, deceptions, and the rest of the mess. See Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion and Democracy—an American Delusion.
The mainstream press is run by the corporatocracy—they're in on it—they're part of it—so there's little real investigative journalism
So why can't our investigative reporters uncover these abuses and help us throw the bums out? Fat chance! The mainstream press is run by the corporatocracy. They're in on it. They're part of it. They're not about to rain on their own lucrative parade! So don't look for them to be the instruments of freedom and democracy they were originally designed to be.
Heroic NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has demonstrated the type of courage and wisdom we all need to aspire to
Snowden heroically does the unwary American public a huge service, shining a light on all the privacy invasions that were going on without our knowledge. Invasions to email and phone calls and social network data and other internet activities of normal, decent citizens with no connection to terrorism or crime. And Obama lied to our face about it. But the mainstream press were told to make Obama the hero and Snowden the villain, so when "Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize" hit the papers, it was only to criticize Snowden and spout the party line, with only a few brave individuals in the mainstream press willing to mention the great service Snowden did to our country. Just to show just how much the oligarchy run things, the next thing we know, we're reading in shocked disbelief this choice piece of irony: "Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize"!
Obama's turning into Pinocchio for his record number of prevarications—he should win the biggest liar prize, not a peace prize!
Dubya Bush the Liar lied us into the illegal Iraq invasion—but at least his nose is shorter than Obama's
As you can see, our press is bought and paid for, in on the rigged game, and is happy simply pushing propaganda—such as Obama the hero and Snowden the villain, when most sane people know that exactly the reverse is true. Why are the mainstreamers who are pushing propaganda happy? Because it gets them rich. The alternative press, on the other hand, try to get at the truth. They are the marginalized press, the press that challenge the status quo, the party line, and the corporatocracy. Why? Because otherwise the truth will stay hidden forever even though we desperately need this light shining into dark corners to keep tyranny at bay. The powers-that-be of the oligarchy do not allow real investigative journalism. They simply issue press releases of propaganda that are the dictates of the oligarchy leaders, and the mainstream press, far from being interested in being the voice of freedom and democracy, are the voices of infotainment to keep the sheep pacified—pablum for the unwashed masses, as it were.
The only certain, irrefutable, perpetual and insidious bias in reporting comes from the neocon elites themselves, which make an all-out effort to stay covert and invisible to the unsuspecting citizen
We desperately need light shining into dark, elite, neocon corners to keep tyranny at bay
The function of the alternative press, then, is to do what the mainstream press used to do: investigate and then report the REAL news, which most of us haven't heard for decades. The regular news about movie stars, cute kittens, plane crashes, bad weather, and sports gets reported by the mainstream press without bias or slant. But if it has to do with politics, big corporations, elections, foreign policies, press briefings, or military actions anywhere, the mainstream press has two choices: play ball or play elsewhere. They either report what it says in the press releases from the administration (which are really from or at least censored/edited by the oligarchy) or they find themselves no longer invited to press briefings and suddenly the NSA, IRS, and several other agencies find many things wrong with them, their advertisers desert them, they get a bill for back taxes, they're on the no-fly list, they receive fines for zoning violations, etc., and their broadcast license is revoked. And if that sounds like freedom of the press to you, you need to lay off the LSD or wacky tobacky—or both!
Smoking wacky tobacky
Are the powers-that-be willing to control the media agenda for their own purposes, going against science, real facts, and the majority of public opinions on the subject? Willing, able, and eager. See one example: Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. The press coverage of military conflicts is another: media coverage of the Vietnam War compared to what was really happening. The same for the Iraq and Afghanistan and Syrian conflicts and the War on Drugs and the War on Terror (the latter experienced an ugly transmogrification into the War on Innocent American Citizen's Privacy as the NSA spied on us good guys more than the bad guys).
- Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment
- Media Sexploitation
- 8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the U.S. Crushed Youth Resistance
- Overthrowing Hollywood And The Broadcast Elites
- Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite
- Downpour Of Media Cliches Threatens To Flood Nation
- The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government
- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
- And for a more radical viewpoint: Fifty Years of the Deep State
The War on Terror experienced an ugly transmogrification into the War on Innocent American Citizen's Privacy as NSA surveillance increased
Fly #353242252 reporting: Citizen #312,756,972 doesn't seem to be hiding a thing—my conclusion is that she's clean; but just to be sure I think I'll hang around a bit longer!
When Bush and Obama said their wars on terror may go on indefinitely, you can just imagine these fat cats rolling around in huge money bins laughing just like Scrooge McDuck