I’ve found myself talking frequently about various things I’ve been looking at and considering in the course of occasionally flipping on a television and taking a little time to browse through channels on the local cable service. It might seem, from reading these things, that I must spend an awful lot of time of my life watching TV, but I don’t, actually. There are many things in life way more important. There are things that I frequently find important to mention, for a couple of reasons. One reason to note these things is simply that so many Americans seem to spend so much time tied to a TV set. The other is how much of what people then have pouring into their heads ends up being just garbage.
What gets people’s attention and what is ignored, what completely escapes the notice of people, of how many people, has ended up becoming a main theme of the era, the here and now where and when we find ourselves. The more I look at everything around us and try to sort it out, the more this problem of misdirected attention seems worse and worse. The thing that continues to grab my attention in this is how, as whatever problems and difficulties and issues arise, people don’t look at what’s going on and focus their attention on them, and generally take a mindset of thinking “well, we had better get a handle of what’s going on and get to work and sort this out”. The pervasive problem is some kind of mass determination to avoid even acknowledging what’s happening, and pretending it’s something else.
I spent some time and space on the 2014 State of the Union address, and barely scratched the surface of what there is to sort out and examine in that, but I hope I got across the main gist of what we should all take from that. It has become an empty bit of theater, a stage play pretending that we’re a free country with a functional democratic republic. I find myself writing about American political items way more than I care to, as much as I’m increasingly disgusted by virtually everything now happening there, simply because the whole thing has become such a monumentally destructive circus of distraction and confusion, in virtually any subject matter that really matters to people in general. It doesn’t just fail to solve problems, it doesn’t merely distract energy and attention and resources from solving problems. It’s even worse than that, keeping people from even recognizing problems as existing, and being what they are.
The commentary about the recent State of the Union address is a subject that cracks open the door of how badly the process of government is malfunctioning here in the US today, and it should be said that it’s not all about the current president. For that matter, we have major clues staring us in the face to be found in watching the running bizarre show that involves pseudo-news reporting, that’s the kind of sports coverage reporting so common now, about the topic of who might be a candidate to be elected President of the United States in 2016, almost three years away from the early November 2016 election day.
Sometimes I wonder what portion of the American citizenry are having their attention badly diverted by this farce, either by taking an interest in politics and being absorbed into this kind of sports competition foolishness, or being repelled by that very thing and ignoring anything related to politics and government in sheer disgust and a basic instinctive sense of it being a waste of time, or even bad for mental health. I can’t say these people are wrong.
Again, it’s not all about current president Barack Obama, but plenty of the insanity revolves around him. To repeat what I’ve said before, any realistic rational examination and criticism of President Obama runs smack into the whole opposing sports teams game and all kinds of notions that rapidly slide into the realm of delusion, severely detached from any actual reality. Talking about the many profound problems of the actual reality of Obama as president over five years so far is certain to trigger reflex barking from the people who will say things like “see, I was right about Obama, I told you he was bad!”, when, in fact, more often than not in this kind of thing, they’re still wrong about Obama.
This is basically the territory involving what I’ve referred to as the phenomenon of “fictional cartoon villain Obama”, familiar stuff to any American paying any attention to the American sports circus of politics since around 2007. The flipside counterpart of the absurd simplistic bipolar game is people really wanting to believ Obama is their guy, a good or even great president, who really want to believe he is all they thought he was and hoped he would be, with another, much different, version of Obama that consists of a large component of fiction and even delusion.
The complex knot of farce produced and perpetuated by all that rolls on relentlessly, to such an extent that it’s not unreasonable to suggest that a majority of American citizens are sucked into and and essentially have no idea what the fuck is happening, in anything. I’ve been writing about the problem areas where confusion and bad information reigns, of course. The whole subject of “energy” is one. Anything in the realm of “the economy” is another, with all that’s swirling around in the hellishly complex and confusing realm of banking and finance.
Just a day or two ago I found myself reading something online that I will not link to here, because there is too much confusion propagated already. It was particularly nuts, with the general theme being to suggest that the USA was becoming like Nazi Germany.
Basically, it had this whole premise of saying that Obama was like Hitler, and that comparison had the idea that Obama is some sort of socialist dictator tyrant just like Hitler, because Hitler was a dictator tyrant at the head of the German Nazi party, which, according to this absurd piece, was socialism.
The bad news is, something like that finds a receptive and pliable audience in people who don’t know enough to realize what a load of fundamentally confused nonsense it is. What’s even more twisted and puzzling about it is that even the most simplistic of people who conflate “socialist” with “communist” should be able to learn enough 20th century history and recognize that the fascist Nazis of Germany, and Mussolini’s Italy, and Franco’s Spain, were all severely militaristic fascists who were self proclaimed sworn mortal enemies of anything even remotely resembling anything like socialism or communism.
There was a quote I once read from Mussolini saying that the idea of fascism should more appropriately be called “corporatism“, as that more accurately described part of the basic idea, the formation of an authoritarian state composed of a fusion of government and corporate power. Understanding that basic idea gets the basic gist of understanding what fascism is, and what Nazi Germany was about, and makes it very clear that the whole premise of the online essay I saw, of “Obama is a socialist dictator just like Hitler and turning the USA into something like Nazi Germany“, is just tragically stupid.
What’s even worse, and the main reason I even mention all that, is that it confuses and misdirects people from asking more serious questions, and seriously examining events and circumstances for signs that the US might be drifting toward some things somewhat resembling aspects of Nazi Germany, which, to put it plainly, involve drifting into a corporate/government plutocratic authoritarian police state and military empire. In other words, fascism, if you want to put a simple label on it.
Confused diversionary carny sideshows like that stupid “Obama is a socialist dictator just like Hitler” piece only serve to confuse things, and distract people from a more realistic and ugly picture.
Barack Obama as president, with about five years to examine, has proven to be, if anything, completely unlike a dictator, although that can trigger all kinds of noise from people talking about undermining the Constitution, and executive branch usurpation, and abuse, of power. The actual reality has become pretty clear, it’s increasingly hard to avoid a conclusion judgement of President Barack Obama being a figurehead, a puppet, a showpiece, an empty shell for theatrical purposes, and that Obama is in control and directing virtually nothing, except according to instructions provided to him.
A perfect example of how all the sideshows and distracting diversions obscure so much of what’s really happening can be found in the obscure story of something called the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a remarkably secretive item that is apparently being pushed as an international agreement including the United States by President Obama, or, perhaps it might be more accurately said, pushed by Obama under the directions of those who own and manage him. I suspect that most Americans don’t even know anything at all about it, if you mention the name of the TPP, and it’s pretty scarce in what passes for news, if mentioned at all. Doing a bit of digging into what this thing is turns up a couple of general items about it; what’s actually in the agreement is remarkably obscured, secretive, and secondly, from what there is about it, the most significant thing about it is that nations becoming party to this “trade” treaty essentially would be agreeing that their authority as national governments would be subverted and superceded and essentially replaced, in any matters of trade and commerce of any sort, by the authority of trans-national corporations.
This is a glimpse of the actual Obama as president.
Meanwhile, the “opposition party” of the Republicans play out the theater of constantly, incessantly, barking the same repeated nonsense of the image of cartoon villain Obama the Leftist radical Socialist and all the usual memes that go with it, presenting a fictional narrative that’s then followed up by the self promoting nonsense about how they are the people to bring this into check and keep the nation from this fictional path into The Far Left and socialism. Quite a racket they have going there. Worse, people fall for it.
We have the horror show of the revelations that what has clearly been becoming more and more of a police state was even worse than most people probably thought, and the general response of Obama as president has been to as he does with anything else, make some nice sounding speeches and then effectively do nothing, other than some token gestures, not to correct things, such as restoring government acting in accordance with the first and fourth amendments of the Bill of Rights, but, rather to perform public relations shows to make the American people feel more comfortable with a police state.
We still have the running story of the US government ignoring the needs of the people of the United States and the general well being of the nation in continuing to bankrupt the nation, along with the accompanying destruction and death and long term damage to the lives of people in pursuing mad ambitions of military empire. This continues on and on, with the theatrical show putting forth notions that all that is about “defending our freedom”.
Between the current president, simply following the previous president in many more ways than just being the next to occupy the office, the rest of the Democratic party, and the Republican party, we have a dysfunctional collection of people who, beyond seeming to have completely lost the plot in remembering they are elected to be servants of the people, seem locked in some sort of sclerotic mode of trying to sustain the unsustainable.
Among the things that are being avoided entirely, or painted up to look like something else, is a problem we have that was summarized very nicely in a web interview I mentioned the last time here, and am including as a link below, again. That was writer James Howard Kunstler, assessing the ongoing troubles of finance and banking and our economic problems. He touched on the same stuff a little in his most recent Monday blog note. Basically, we have circumstances where we definitely are into limits on what people have to regard as normal perpetual economic growth. The problem is, there are limits. We’re on a finite planet, with finite resources, and the simple fact is, endless exponential growth of anything is not possible.
The catch here is that we have many people and systems oriented completely around “growth”, and what we have now is a situation where people and systems all focused on various kinds of wealth extraction, while pretending it’s “wealth creation”, have come to complete depend upon and assume endless growth, while they play their games and figure out how to slice profits of money for nothing off all the transactions, collect interest, and so on. The trouble we’re having now, and have been having for some time, is that we’re into circumstances and looking into a future where there just isn’t endless perpetual exponential growth to skim off profits and run a “rentier economy”. The people who have been getting more and more wealthy from the various games and methods and practices of wealth extraction, skimming off real wealth, demand that it continue, while maintaining the pretense that they earn it, even when there is no, shall we say, cream to skim off the top. But they demand their flow of constant new wealth for themselves, even if it means the degradation and eventual destruction of actual useful activity and good work. We can find this in the practice of corporate “downsizing” and “cost cutting”, hacking away at the people doing work of value, to keep the flow of cash going up to executive management levels, and anyone else extracting wealth from the business at hand. The whole phenomenon of “globalization” is this stuff on a mass scale.
We have too many people who want everything, and then want more, while they don’t want to pay anybpdy for anything. If that isn’t workable, then they’ll do all they can to pay as little as possible. Then they’ll say that’s just good business, and if it doesn’t work for you, then too bad, you must be doing it all wrong.
Many things are on a collision course with reality, or have already collided with reality, and people just pretend it hasn’t happened.
North Dakota’s State-Run Bank Adds Millions to Treasury, Spurs Imitators