Sunday, September 13, 2015

ABC’s of Armageddon Part V: Socialists Strike Back at Empire

Campaign season is here in America, Canada and Britain.  All three countries’ governments have held their citizens hostage slashing social programs, privatizing essential government functions, selling off publicly owned resources, and opening pristine protected lands to polluters endangering the health, safety and welfare of their citizenry.  All this has been done in the name of “free market capitalism.” 

An outsider might look at these three countries and wonder “how do those horrific leaders and their minions continue to be reelected?”  Well, the two-party electoral system in these countries have jury rigged the nominating process to such a degree that the only choices the voters have are the ones that two-parties have agreed upon before the first vote is cast. 

The two party system was created through a media monopoly enabled by deregulation of the banking and media industry by the two parties.  These three countries that are supposed to be the bastions of democracy have morphed into a fascist trifecta of authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing rule promoting terrorism across the globe. 

The complete control over the electoral systems by the two parties and their corporate masters in banking and media have ensured a never ending duopoly.  That is, until now.  The winds of change are in the air, the darkness has lifted and here comes the sun.

In America the two parties are flummoxed by their loss of control over the electoral process even though the Murdoch owned media has complete control of the airwaves.  Donald Trump poses a great threat to the status quo.  By announcing he was running for president as a Republican, Trump has entered the belly of the beast and is reinventing the carefully crafted rightwing party. 

The media, in spite of launching attacks that have been effective against previous candidates that dared to stray from the rabid right wing plantation, have been unable to put even the slightest chink in the Donald’s armor.  From New York Times:


Donald Trump Gets Rock Star Greeting in Iowa

AMES, Iowa — It probably made sense on paper: invite presidential candidates to visit the Iowa Republican Party’s tent in the parking lot before the big Iowa vs. Iowa State football game on Saturday.

What planners did not anticipate was the portable mob scene that characterizes the candidacy of Donald J. Trump.

Arriving more than an hour late, Mr. Trump offered a speech of less than a minute on the state party’s stage. But that was beside the point, as star-struck supporters greeted him like a stadium rocker during a sprawling tailgate party before kickoff….

Three other Republican candidates not named Trump also glad-handed and posed for selfies among the tailgating football fans before the game. But their receptions were of a different order. Rarely has the contrast between a conventional politician and the celebrity candidacy of Mr. Trump seemed clearer.

Many Iowa Republicans expected Mr. Trump’s lead in the primary race to be fleeting. On Friday night, a seasoned party activist compared him to “the bad boy you date over the summer before returning to college.”

Instead, Mr. Trump continues to dominate Iowa polls as summer turns to fall. A Quinnipiac University poll of Iowa last week showed he is the first choice of all age groups of Republicans, including young people, who predominated outside Jack Trice Stadium, where the Iowa State Cyclones hosted the Iowa Hawkeyes.

“We’re killing everybody in the polls,” Mr. Trump said in brief remarks from the stage. He wore a new “Make America Great Again” hat, this one in camouflage.

He wished people luck with whichever team they supported, stepped down and began the walk back to his S.U.V., a knot of students and others pressing close.

Though he said nothing about the issues of the day, the audience seemed satisfied. “It was pretty cool; we got to see him,” said Braiden Loreno, a sophomore. “I’m definitely voting for him.”

Yep the Republican Party is flummoxed, they thought the voters would return to the plantation after a “summer fling” with the “bad boy, the Donald.”  The parties have made it impossible for anyone to run as a third party candidate by refusing to allow them into debates, changing the qualification rules every time someone meets their current threshold and denying them a place on the ballot in places like South Carolina.  Now the Donald has taken their oppressive rules and shoved them down their throats by running as a Republican.  The other candidates have absolutely no chance, the Donald has already won.

On the Democrats side the media has dutifully launched every attack against Hillary Clinton in their slanderous, libelous playbook.   Rupert Murdoch’s empire has labeled Hillary as a liar, a treasonous murderer, and an unlikeable, unelectable, shrew.  The media includes non-candidate Joe Biden in the polls to draw Hillary’s numbers down then blares the news that her popularity is tanking due to nonstop attacks in the media.

At the same time Senator Bernie Sanders’ socialist message of increasing Social Security benefits, breaking up too big to fail banks, prosecuting criminal bankers and ending the endless empire of war.  While the Democratic Party feigns support for Sanders, they are floating various Democrats like John Kerry or Joe Biden to run against Sanders should the party’s attempts to knock Hillary out of the running are successful.  From TheGuardian:


“Press 1 for revolution,” urge the hosts of a teleconference call for 17,000 union activists as they seek to sign up more volunteers for a leftwing insurgency.

Pundits scoff at their naivety, but opinion polls show the leader of this revolution – a grouchy socialist with unkempt white hair and a disdain for media niceties – pulling ahead of more-polished establishment rivals in the race to lead his party.

This grizzled veteran is proving a surprise hit on university campuses and social media, blending old-fashioned rallies with an online buzz that compensates for his lack of support from the party machinery.

Such a scenario might seem little more than a fantasy in an era of focus groups and political triangulation, but the remarkable fact is that this is the situation currently faced by parties on both sides of the Atlantic, in two countries with the most avowedly capitalist economies on the planet.

Indeed, “the situation currently faced by parties on both sides of the Atlantic” the two countries that have “the most avowedly capitalist economies on the planet” have lost control over the electoral process. 

In Britain, after the dubious reelection of David Cameron in what appears to be a sham election, the people took to the streets.  From ABC News:


A protest has erupted in central London against the re-election of Britain's Conservative prime minister David Cameron, with demonstrators throwing bottles, cans and smoke bombs at riot police.

Scuffles broke out when the anti-austerity demonstrators, blaring hooters, banging pots and chanting obscenities, confronted lines of police outside the gate leading to the prime minister's Downing Street residence. At one point a bicycle was hurled at police….

"We are here because we've seen bankers get off scot-free while the working people are the only people who've been punished under the rabid schemes of austerity," he said.

Mr Cameron, whose government has enacted tough spending cuts to bring down the budget deficit and promised more to come, won a second five-year term in Thursday's election with an outright majority in parliament.

You know the vote was rigged when Cameron is reelected on a platform to destroy the lives of working people.  So since Cameron’s reelection has he reached out to the working class?  Has Cameron heard the pained cries of the people?  From The Independent:


David Cameron's first 100 days: 10 of the worst measures introduced by the Government so far

Today marks 100 days since David Cameron recorded a shock victory at the general election to deliver the first majority Conservative government in 18 years

…unshackled from the chains of coalition government, Mr Cameron and his Tory colleagues have spared little time in delivering on their radical agenda.

With the turmoil and chaos of the Labour party conveniently providing cover, the Government has quietly pressed ahead with deeply unpopular measures and further cuts to public services. Here are 10 of the worst measures the Tories have delivered so far.

1.      Child poverty target scrapped

The Government has scrapped legally-binding targets to eradicate child poverty by 2020. 

2.     Cut in working tax credits

At the same time as scrapping child poverty targets the Government announced that families with more than two children will not receive tax credits or housing benefit for their third or subsequent children.

3.     Scrapped the Green Deal

The Government has scrapped its flagship Green Deal that was hailed just two years ago by ministers as signalling a “revolution” in transforming Britain’s typically energy inefficient housing stock.

4.     Cut benefits for asylum seekers

Benefits for thousands of asylum seekers have been cut after a shake-up by the Home Office, including a £16 weekly cut in the cash allocated for looking after a child

5.     Scrapped maintenance grants for students

George Osborne announced he was scrapping maintenance grants for students from low income families and replacing them with loans that will drag poorer students into even more debt.

6.     Higher tuition fees

The Chancellor has also given universities the power to raise tuition fees even further, having already increased them three-fold to their record level of £9,000 under the Coalition

7.      Trade union clampdown

Plans for strict new laws on strike action were announced by the Government in July.  They include proposals to ban strikes by key public sector workers unless they are supported by at least 40 per cent of all of those eligible to vote.

8.     Halting railway improvements

The Government has postponed a number of railway infrastructure modernisation schemes that were crucial for George Osborne’s bid to boost northern cities as part of his Northern Powerhouse plan.

9.     Clampdown on transparency

The Government has launched a review of the Freedom of Information Act and fears that it will lead to a curb on government transparency deepened after Jack Straw, an outspoken critic of the FOI Act, was appointed to head the review.

10.  Lowering the benefit cap

The Tories have delivered on their manifesto pledge to lower the benefit cap further, down to £20,000 for claimants outside London and £23,000 in the capital.

If anyone believes that smarmy, privileged little asshole Cameron was reelected by the people they are breathtakingly stupid.  Oh, and by the way those e-mails of Hillary Clinton that supposedly contained classified information had this to say about Cameron.  From The Telegraph:


Among the more than 7,000 pages released this week were messages in which Mrs Clinton received a stream of warnings about senior Conservative party figures in the days after they took power in the 2010 election.

Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend of Mrs Clinton's and a Labour ally, told the then-US secretary of state to be wary of David Cameron's new government.

"On economic policy, the UK is no partner and no bridge to Europe," Mr Blumenthal wrote six weeks after the British election.

Mr Blumenthal also cautioned Mrs Clinton not to trust William Hague, then foreign secretary, saying he was "deeply anti-European and will be disingenuous with you".

Ha, ha ha.  No wonder Rupert Murdoch’s media is waging an all-out libelous war against Hillary Clinton, she’s picking on Rupert’s lapdog Cameron.  But hang on Britain, help is on the way.  You did it, you actually managed to defy the corrupt elect electoral system and elect a real warrior in Jeremy Corbyn.  From The Guardian


Blairism is dead and buried. Jeremy Corbyn is the future

Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader with a mandate which dwarfs that given to Tony Blair 21 years ago is the most extraordinary event in the 45 years I have been a party member. To say it is a victory for hope may sound trite and cliched, but it is really the only explanation for what has occurred. This sweeping victory in all parts of the Labour electorate – including the full party members – is, I believe, three parts optimism and one part repudiation of the “New Labour” past….

Mainstream politics has for a generation been conducted in terms of a managerial minimalism within tightly drawn parameters. It has become almost democratically impermissible to advance ideas that buck the free-market, deregulation, privatisation and austerity consensus…

The Tories are out to remake politics for good by dismantling the Labour movement. Their trade union bill, to be debated tomorrow, aims to make strikes impossible, reduce trade unions through a byzantine system of regulations to some sort of industrial advisory bodies and marginalise our involvement in politics, starving the official opposition of funds as they do so.

They are so intent on this agenda that the most basic rights, including free speech and freedom of association, are imperilled. Everything the Tories can do to rig the political system – more appointed peers, fewer elected MPs, constituencies redrawn on the basis of an electoral register missing millions of the young and the poorest – will be attempted.

You betch yer ass they are going to try everything to destroy any gains for working people and to keep them from voting, that’s what they do. 

And that brings me to Canada our neighbors to the North that have been held hostage since the 1970’s by a repressive rightwing government willing to destroy their own country to serve their corporate benefactors.  Stephen Harpers’ reelection campaign saw the warning shot across the bow in May when the socialist party had a big win in Alberta, Canada.  From New York Times:


Leftist Party’s Win in Alberta May Affect Future of Oil Sands

OTTAWA — With an economy dominated by the oil industry and a conservative, free-market political tradition, Alberta has long been cast as the Texas of Canada. But on Tuesday, not only did the province’s voters put the Progressive Conservative Party out of power after 43 years, they elected a government from the far left of Canada’s mainstream political spectrum.

The unexpected rise of the New Democratic Party, which was partly founded by labor unions, may have implications for Alberta’s oil sands, which, many critics say, enjoyed a light regulatory touch under Conservative governments. And with a federal election coming this year, the result will not be welcomed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Conservative whose party’s power base is in Alberta, along with his own parliamentary constituency….

The collapse of Alberta’s Conservatives, who in December marked the longest time in power for a single party in any Canadian province, may partly reflect changing demographics within a province whose settlers, in the early 20th century, included large numbers of Americans.

Yes, a seismic shift took place in Alberta this year and now Stephen Harper has set in motion an early election season hoping to stem the movement.  Harper’s tenure as Prime Minister has been disastrous for Canada.  From IPolitics:


How Harper killed medicare — and got away with it

The Harper government’s anti-democratic actions have been so numerous, it’s easy to lose track of them….

The essence of the Harper makeover of Canada has been the deep slashing of taxes, putting serious constraints on what government is able to provide in public programs and services.

Previous Liberal governments had started down this path already, but Harper has taken the aversion to taxes to new heights, turning it into something like a cult…

Under Harper, taxes as a percentage of the economy are at their lowest level in 70 years. But 70 years ago, governments weren’t providing the extensive public benefits and services — in areas like health care, education, pensions, public transit — that we want and expect today.

Harper has accomplished his deeper agenda: to destroy our sense that we can do things collectively as a nation … besides fight wars, patrol the Arctic, punish criminals and watch hockey.

As a result of Harper’s cuts to the GST, personal and corporate taxes, Ottawa now collects about $45 billion less revenue per year. No wonder we’re told we can’t afford anything but austerity….

Take public health care, typically at the top of the list of public programs that Canadians deeply value. All seems pretty quiet on the health care front, currently presided over by Rona Ambrose, who previously held other portfolios of little interest to the Harper Conservatives, like the environment, labour and women.

Harper has quietly put in place the mechanism for deep cuts to federal support for public health care. There was, of course, no proclamation pointing that out. His government simply announced, just before Christmas in 2011, that there would be no negotiations to renew the expiring health accord with the provinces.

Instead, it unilaterally imposed a new formula — which will cut federal support for health care by an estimated $36 billion over the next decade, leaving the cash-strapped provinces scrambling to cover costs, with private, profit-seeking health entrepreneurs buzzing at their doorsteps.

Yet the media treated this hugely significant change as a dull story about federal-provincial spending formulas, and largely buried it in the rush of year-end media trivia. It has received little attention since.

As a result, few Canadians seem to realize that, as things stand, our medicare system — an institution cherished by millions — faces serious spending cuts starting in 2017.

At that point, we’ll be told we can no longer afford a public health care system. What we won’t be told is that the revenue to pay for a public health care system has been spent already — in tax cuts.

Yes, Stephen Harper’s rightwing slashing of public healthcare system and his austerity programs effects won’t fully take place until 2017 when it will be replaced with a for-profit system like that in America.  So Harper is facing a dilemma in his reelection bid.  So what does he do?  Why, he brings in the same election fixers that returned Cameron to power in a sham election in Britain.


For campaign magic, Harper turns to a wizard from Oz

Australian campaign whiz Lynton Crosby is coming to Canada to help the Conservatives.

Oh, this should be good.  Go on…

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are reaching overseas for expert election help in a bid to regain their footing and halt a slide in the polls, bringing in globetrotting Australian campaign doctor Lynton Crosby.

Crosby is known as the Wizard from Oz, and is considered one of the world’s top political strategists. He helped David Cameron retain the prime minister’s office in Britain, and just last month engineered victory in Sri Lanka’s election

The Conservatives have looked abroad for ideas in the past, but this is the first time they’ve brought in a fixer from overseas in mid-campaign…

The 2015 campaign is, to put it mildly, not going the way the Conservatives would like. Some polls have them in third place and on most days reporters question Harper not about whatever policy he has announced, but about Syrian refugees, a faltering economy or whether he still trusts his staff or candidates.

That’s right, the 2015 Canadian campaign of Stephen Harper isn’t going the way Conservatives would like.  Translated that means, it will be damned difficult to throw the election if it’s not close. 

And so my friends, the ABC’s of Armageddon are in denial, their austerity programs have left their citizens sick, starving, unemployed and devoid of hope for their future.  Their carefully crafted lies spewed out across the airwaves like sirens calling ships to wreck on their reefs are no longer effective.

Their divide and conquer strategy is no longer working and the people now want a more fair, more equitable government that answers to the needs of the people rather than sacrificing their future for today’s excessive profits for the few.

It is a new day for the ABC’s of Armageddon, the Socialists are striking back against the bloody regime of empire and the people are welcoming them with open arms.  The dark clouds of Conservative oppression are lifting and here comes the sun.

By Patricia Baeten

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