Noam Chomsky: US Scandalous Healthcare symptomatic of populations’ failure to defend Democracy | Choice of disenfranchised masses to have blind faith in ruling elite

As the title suggests, in this interview and article by C.J. Polychroniou, Noam Chomsky unveils his expansive view of the United States.



Chomsky claims that the rejection of healthcare and lack of a real labor presence is symbolic of the much larger issue in the United States > that people do not participate or defend democracy, but are willing puppets of a political realm ruled by a wealthy few, to whom the population simply does not oppose, but subjugate their passions and dreams to agree to the system dictated by a ruling class – who the population could overpower with their force, if they simply wished to stand up for their rights to represent and govern themselves.

I’ve basically excerpted the article, juggling it around a bit to put the most poignant parts from the conclusion – at the beginning – for those who have no time to read. Hence it’s a sort of ‘cliff notes’ version of the article.

And as I posted on Facebook regarding this Truthout article, thank you so much Noam Chomsky for being the expansive and insightful person whom you are!

Noam Chomsky-information website

Noam Chomsky-information website

“The US health care system has long been an international scandal, with about twice the per capita expenses of other wealthy (OECD) countries and relatively poor outcomes. The ACA did, however, bring improvements, including insurance for tens of millions of people who lacked it, banning of refusal of insurance for people with prior disabilities, and other gains — and also, it appears to have led to a reduction in the increase of health care costs, though that is hard to determine precisely.

Returning to your question, it raises a crucial question about American democracy: why isn’t the population “demanding” what it strongly prefers? Why is it allowing concentrated private capital to undermine necessities of life in the interests of profit and power?

….The question directs our attention to a profound democratic deficit in an atomized society, lacking the kind of popular associations and organizations that enable the public to participate in a meaningful way in determining the course of political, social and economic affairs. These would crucially include a strong and participatory labor movement and actual political parties growing from public deliberation and participation instead of the elite-run candidate-producing groups that pass for political parties. What remains is a depoliticized society in which a majority of voters (barely half the population even in the super-hyped presidential elections, much less in others) are literally disenfranchised, in that their representatives disregard their preferences while effective decision-making lies largely in the hands of tiny concentrations of wealth and corporate power…

Turning finally to your question again, a rather general answer, which applies in its specific way to contemporary western democracies, was provided by David Hume over 250 years ago, in his classic study of the First Principles of Government. Hume found “nothing more surprising than to see the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and to observe the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is brought about, we shall find, that as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. `Tis therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.”

Implicit submission is not imposed by laws of nature or political theory. It is a choice, at least in societies such as ours, which enjoys the legacy provided by the struggles of those who came before us. Here power is indeed “on the side of the governed,” if they organize and act to gain and exercise it. That holds for health care and for much else.”

The House of Representatives, dominated by Republicans (with a minority of voters), has voted over 50 times in the past six years to repeal or weaken Obamacare, but they have yet to come up with anything like a coherent alternative.

Comparison of the attitude toward elementary rights of labor and extraordinary rights of private power tells us a good deal about the nature of American society.

The expulsion or mass killing of Indigenous nations cleared the ground for the invading settlers, who had enormous resources and ample fertile lands at their disposal, and extraordinary security for reasons of geography and power. That led to the rise of a society of individual farmers, and also, thanks to slavery, substantial control of the product that fueled the industrial revolution: cotton, the foundation of manufacturing, banking, commerce, retail for both the US and Britain, and less directly, other European societies. Also relevant is the fact that the country has actually been at war for 500 years with little respite, a history that has created “the richest, most powerful¸ and ultimately most militarized nation in world history,” as scholar Walter Hixson has documented.

Administrative costs are far greater in the private component of the health care system than in Medicare, which itself suffers by having to work through the private system.

Comparisons with other countries reveal much more bureaucracy and higher administrative costs in the US privatized system than elsewhere. One study of the US and Canada a decade ago, by medical researcher Steffie Woolhandler and associates, found enormous disparities, and concluded that “Reducing U.S. administrative costs to Canadian levels would save at least $209 billion annually, enough to fund universal coverage.

Another anomalous feature of the US system is the law banning the government from negotiating drug prices, which leads to highly inflated prices in the US as compared with other countries. That effect is magnified considerably by the extreme patent rights accorded to the pharmaceutical industry in “trade agreements,” enabling monopoly profits. In a profit-driven system, there are also incentives for expensive treatments rather than preventive care, as strikingly in Cuba, with remarkably efficient and effective health care.”

Carol Keiter, the blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition


“The Lie We Live” | short film by Spencer Cathcart | “Le Mensonge dans lequel nous vivons” | “Die Lüge die wir leben” | “La Mentira En Que Vivimos”

The Lie We Live  short film by Spencer Cathcart

The Lie We Live
short film by Spencer Cathcart

short film by Spencer Cathcart


Le mensonge dans lequel nous vivons

Le mensonge dans lequel nous vivons

die lüge die wir leben

The Lie We Live – La Mentira Que Vivimos

Script for the film

In front of you, you have access to more information than any human in history. But you probably don’t care. That curiosity we once had in the world is gone.

Why is it the older we get, the less questions we ask? Throughout history we’ve always accepted whatever world we were born into. And if anyone tried to question our world, they were ridiculed. It’s only years later we look back and ask ourselves: how could anyone accept that world?

Today we call ourselves developed, as if we have nothing left to learn. But in a hundred years, when people look back at our generation, will they too ask themselves: how did anyone accept that world? 

It’s no secret our world is full of problems. We rally, we protest, still the problems only seem to grow. And maybe, because they stem from a much larger problem we fail to see.

Why do we search the universe for new life, when we can’t even coexist with the life on our own planet? It’s as if we expect any life out there to be just like us. As if life can only be human. How is it in a world with millions of species we see ourselves as the only one that thinks, feels, or matters? It’s a reoccurring theme in our history, the belief that some life is inferior to others. We’ve always struggled to accept those unlike ourselves. To recognize because something’s different doesn’t mean it should be treated differently.

When we look at other life, we say our technology makes us more advanced. Yet all we seem to advance is the destruction of the world surrounding us. You look around and there’s little life to be seen. Most animals we know, we’ve only witnessed on screens.

It’s funny how we call them “animals” but ourselves “humans”. As if we’re two different life forms with nothing in common. We see them as beasts and ourselves as people.  Calling their actions barbaric, yet our actions tradition. But while they kill to survive, we kill even as we call ourselves civilized. And we don’t just kill; we raise life to be killed. Not because we need to. Because we like the taste, the look, the feeling. And when you see life as an object of value, it’s hard to see the value in life.

Why is it when some animals are killed it becomes a headline. But when others are murdered, we don’t blink an eye? Why are we enraged at the thought of a culture eating dogs? But laugh when another culture refuses to eat cows?

Our idea of normal may change depending where you are, but our desire to be normal has always been the same. It’s only when the norm changes that we criticize our former ways. Today we live in a nation where it’s normal to get cancer; to become obese; to develop heart disease. Clearly there’s something wrong with this way of life we call normal. But it’s all we’ve ever known.  

For as long as we can remember we’ve eaten animals. Growing up we’re taught meat gives us protein and makes us strong.  Yet so do many foods we don’t need to kill for, but we’re not told that. We hardly hear about the numerous studies showing the diseases associated with meat. Or all the food and land we waste fattening the animals we eat. When you drink the breast milk of another animal your whole life it doesn’t seem odd. It just seems normal. After all, it’s what we’ve always done and we don’t question tradition. We embrace it. But if we never questioned the traditions of our past, we would never evolve.

I’m sick of this politically correct yet morally fucked world. A world where we’re afraid others will be offended by our words, but not that others will be affected by our actions. A world where everybody says they want a solution, but nobody’s willing to admit they’re the problem. The choices we make travel further than we think, but we choose to ignore the impact we have. There was a time I thought we could change. But as I get older I find myself asking, even if we could change, do we want to?

Perhaps this is simply who we are. From the beginning, we’ve been unable to coexist with other life on this planet. And no matter how far we’ve evolved, it’s a theme that lives on. If the story of our planet were a film, up to this point humans would be the villain. And like any great villain, we’ve always refused to see ourselves as the bad guy.

Each generation comes into this world thinking they can make things right, only to be remembered years later for what was wrong. Today we may have more information than any other generation. But what good are answers if we never begin to ask the right questions.

None of us chose to be born into this world. None of us chose who we would be. But all of us have the choice to change what we become.

-Written by Spencer Cathcart

1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy 25th anniversary | the Truth | Original Report Sanitized | Victims Criminalized

The price of Hillsborough, states Phil Scranton who authored the book “Hillsborough the Truth” is the ‘institutionalized injustice’ that the family members of the victims endured. His book uncovers the truth behind the Hillsborough stadium disaster which occurred in Sheffield, England on April 15th, 1989.

Flower tributes to victims of the Hillsborough football match stadium disaster in which 96 people died

Flower tributes to victims of the Hillsborough football match stadium disaster in which 96 people died

The news media spoke of drunken football hooligans as the cause of the disaster in which 96 people were killed, a message that the local police force and stadium owners quickly staged. Those killed were actually scrutinized for their ‘blood alcohol levels’ and history of drug & alcohol use and behavior, to neatly frame them as having caused the disaster. Police reports had been heavily edited to sanitize the incident and make it look like it was the fault of the fans’ misbehavior as opposed to those in the control room, the stadium design and the police force who were responsible for crowd control.

As an American, I hadn’t known this until I viewed this BBC documentary Panorama Hillsborough – How They Buried the Truth Britain’s worst football disaster.

At the 20th year Anniversary Memorial Service in Anfield, Liverpool April 15th, 2009, a significant proportion of the 28,000 attendees interrupted the speech of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, MP Andy Burnham shouting “justice for the 96”.

The Collusion of Integrity with Money | Eroding the Quality of Life for All | Distributism

A fuse was recently re-ignited in my mind, regarding the dramatic unequal distribution of wealth in so many arenas within the United States. And this capitalistic encroachment, will inevitably ripple throughout the world. I’d written about the solid values that Joe Paterno proposed; discipline, loyalty, honesty and the pursuit of excellence. These are an ‘old school’ morality, which he and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. represented, before the collusion of money with ethics.

We have watched as various real estate bubbles have risen, in the late ‘90s in San Francisco with the ‘.com’, in New York City in the last decade as properties doubled and in the recent housing crisis. Geographical territories no longer define teams, but whoever has the most money to purchase and trade the best players. Instead of values or beliefs which speak for a politician, there are a bunch of Hollywood cookie cutter images and rhetoric. It’s not those with the most credibility, but financial assets, to beguile the public with their self-promotion.

My sister has worked for years with marginalized youths who have behavioral, addiction problems; either due to chemical imbalances or damaging or non-existent family structures. Her non-profit group helps to build teamwork, communication skills, self-esteem and responsibility. The youths come on an outpatient basis to create and build a show, which they all participate in and take pride in. She mentioned recently that the kids involved in the program are more difficult, due to the fact that the kids she typically would work with are now cut out of these programs and mainstreamed, and those that typically would have been institutionalized, are now in these outpatient, less strict programs. She maintains that this is due to the trickle down effect and squeeze on available funds, resulting in a re-distribution of money that affects all programs. Those challenged youths who were typically in her program, are now without any program or guidance at all, whereas those who had required much stricter supervision, who actually benefited by being institutionalized, are now in outpatient, rather than inpatient programs. Another result of this down-sizing, is that many professionals who still have jobs, have much heavier work loads and burn-out.

There is allegedly ‘no money available’ to pay for education, health care, health and social infrastructure, housing … and yet our government has a $ Trillion plus debt, due to our involvement in serial wars all over the world.
No money, yet a baseball player signs a contract to receive $ 10 Million a year, the average NFL player has a salary of $ 1.9 million and the cost for a 30 second commercial in the Super Bowl is $ 3.5 M. Yet there’s still no affordable health care in the U.S.

There’s a bit of a discrepancy here. Instead of investing in long-term savings through health prevention and education, there’s this greed induced financial crisis because of the interest of a few to make profits on the short term. Our plutocracy and corpocrisy dictates a consensus of what is admissible. Many statistics which reveal what is unjust, don’t even appear to turn peoples heads. Corruption has become the norm. It’s a collusion of merit with money.

A politician or an athlete no longer is a representative of his or her own hard work and skill, but a commodity infused with money or steroids. We are a culture of misrepresentation and illusion, an economy that must drive forward. Honesty is no longer a player, instead illusion and stealth. Welcome to the new American values. No wonder there’s such a huge demand for pharmaceuticals and a pandemic of addictions: over-eating, porn, alcohol, shopping. It’s a nation misinformed that material wealth will somehow provide security and gain, which has nothing to do with personal excellence and the process of striving and generating something through work.

What can we do about it? What organizations or people could influence a re-distribution of wealth? What could influence people’s attitudes to value merit and honor through hard work and joy and pride through the process of development? Sigh! Are there organizations who will encourage this or that pro athlete or Hollywood star who is making multi-millions per year, to redistribute their wealth to ensure that all people have proper health care, access to education and jobs? Obama’s plan to invest in creative new technologies, renewable energy, education & health and compatible programs that ensure raising the quality of everyone’s life sounds great. Yet at the same time, divesting from dirty energy and toxic industries sounds even better.

“According to the Distributism economic ideology of Catholic social teaching, property ownership is a fundamental right, and the means of production should be spread as widely as possible, rather than being centralized under the control of the state (state socialism), a few individuals (plutocracy), or corporations (corporatocracy). Distributism, therefore, advocates a society marked by widespread property ownership. Co-operative economist Race Mathews argues that such a system is key to bringing about a just social order…Distributism has often been described in opposition to both socialism and capitalism, which distributists see as equally flawed and exploitive.”

There’s a fear-factor which is perpetuated, as long as there’s a huge disparity in wealth and opportunities between the haves and the have-nots. This would dissipate, as this gulf shrinks, and all people would genuinely be happier. We need to cure a society that has become lopsided and sick, in its denial and greed. I know we can do it!

Paul Heise Professor Economics | A Happy New Year is your proactive responsibility |

Having not lived in the United States for a while, I’m not familiar with this writer nor his column, yet the contents of his words reverberated. Heise holds a Ph.D. in economics and is professor emeritus of economics at Lebanon Valley College. This was published in the Opinion section of the Lebanon Daily News, January 5th, 2012. He suggests that Americans let go of their fears and apprehension, and open their minds to seizing new opportunities; through actively taking proactive steps and taking responsibility for creating the life that we want, to once again set examples for the world to follow!

A happy new year, if we will work at it


The new year is a good time to seek out and celebrate the opportunities that life presents us.

The actual happiness of this new year will depend not on fate or accident but on how we respond to the opportunities we face. The opportunities are there, and we face a bright future so long as we do not panic and retreat into fear.

Certainly, our highest hopes flow from the physical sciences because they are the base of the technology that sustains us. The theoretical scientists, working in real time, promise new worlds as yet undreamed of.

For example, in biology, DNA research offers the opportunity to change the very nature of humanity. In physics, the search for the boson particle offers us the excitement of a possible fifth dimension. These opportunities are so stunning that they are and should be frightening.

America as a nation spends huge sums on scientific research. While too much of that is military, a lot does spill over to the private sector. Advances in robotics in regard to artificial limbs have been applied to the general population. GPS technology is good for more than just smart bombs targeting terrorists. Similarly, drone technology has been applied to rescue people as well as to slaughter them.

Managing these technologies promises a future of both jobs and wealth, if we are willing to spend the research money directly on domestic needs.

Technically and economically, the world can produce enough to feed, clothe, house, medicate and educate to a reasonable middle-class standard. The only problems in the way of that are political. The 30-year stagnation of the wages of the middle-class and therefore much of our poverty are not accidental. They are the result of class warfare.

We now live in a plutocracy, government by the wealthy, with extremes of inequality in wealth and income not seen for more than 80 years. These inequalities are also the underlying cause of our current depression.

America will get a growing, prosperous economy in 2012 only if we give the middle-class a wage increase commensurate with their increased productivity.

If we want to have a prosperous new year, we must put our political house in order. The financial sector does not have a right to the money it stole or the political power it purchased with that money. We need to demand accountability for the criminal behavior of bank presidents and not just crack addicts.
Our Constitution and all of our universal and unalienable rights, especially freedom from warrantless search and seizure, must be defended and not given up because we are afraid. Corporations have limited liability, uncontrolled size and immortality; no person I know has any of those attributes.
The tea party and the Occupy Wall Street movement agree on at least this much, so the country is surely ready to fight those battles. Coordinated SWAT team action and pepper spray should not deter us.

America is still the most powerful cultural force for good in the world, and politically the world is going our way despite what you hear.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, with its attack on income inequality, was quickly copied across the developed world. Divergent forms of democratic capitalism are emerging and being welcomed. The repressive aspects of Chinese state capitalism are being challenged by the Chinese people themselves. India’s combination of socialism and capitalism is still emerging. Latin America is quietly slipping free of the IMF and North American corporate control. A democratic Arab Spring is outperforming militant Islamism. Across the world, the creation and spreading of wealth is becoming more important than political ideology.

If we revive the middle class here at home and reach out to others, we will have a great year, and the world will go along. Instead of projecting power in the Far East with aircraft carriers, we will share with China the development of an emerging Southeast Asia. Instead of threatening Iran, we will recognize its natural position as a leader in the Middle East. Instead of fighting the world consensus on global climate change, we will be leading the repair of the planet. Instead of fearing science, we will complete that stalled particle accelerator down in Texas. Instead of closing our borders and our hearts, we will open them so we are still the land of the free.

List your own favorite tasks, and we will all have a daunting but exciting agenda.

America and the world face the prospect of a prosperous and peaceful world. But America is still the only country that can lead us all forward. If we succumb to a bickering fear – of technology, of dark-skinned people, of ourselves – we will not lead.

Let’s look at the new year not just as a gift of opportunity but as a task to be accomplished. Then it will be a really happy new year!
A resident of Mt. Gretna, Heise holds a Ph.D. in economics and is professor emeritus of economics at Lebanon Valley College. His column appears every other Thursday. He maintains past columns and can be reached through his blog,

| the role of the clown / humor in imparting information |

The images of the clowns in this article about traffic chaos in Venezuela put a smile on my face, even before I knew what it was about, and triggered me to investigate more about clowns and mimes in different cultures and times. Apparently Venezuela has been having some difficulties with people not obeying traffic rules, nor the authorities, i.e. uniformed police officers, who have been trying to dictate them. There’s been a pervasive lawlessness in the streets with respect to drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians. So they devised a plan. They enrolled about 100 people and trained them as clowns, to mime reminders to citizens about how to abide by the rules of traffic.

They realized that mimes could more emphatically and effectively inform, because people are in general more receptive to humor and this lighter means of expressing information. In fact, I realized again in the last days, how much humor has been the key to pierce through my own ‘unproductive’ thinking, and bounce me back on track with a more realistic and wider perspective.

My sister had told me a year ago when she’d seen images of men in Los Angeles, who were quasi street gang members, wearing clown outfits. I came across Dave LaChapelle’s documentary “Rize”, in which he portrayed the ‘Clowns Vs Krumpers’ in their Battle Zone, of street dancing in LA. ‘Clowning’ was a predecessor to ‘krumping‘. Clowning was allegedly sparked in 1992 by Thomas “Tommy the Clown” Johnson in Compton, California. Krumping comes from K.R.U.M.P., a backronym for “Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise”, a dance movement started originally as a faith-based art form by Ceasare (pronounced CHEZ-a-ray) “Tight Eyez” Willis and Jo’Artis “Big Mijo” Ratti in South Central, Los Angeles, California during the early 2000s.

Tango emerged as a stand-off/battle between men on the shipping docks of Argentina, in which the competitors’ used their physical finesse and strength displayed through dance, rather than weapons, as their artillery. Though I’m truly captivated by music and dance as languages within themselves, my interest is in the street gangs’s choice to pantomime their dance as clowns. Adorning themselves with face paint and costume, sets them ritually apart from the masses. And though clowns can be either gentle or grotesque in their exaggeration of features, could be that this masquerade is vigorously playful and creative, while at the same time mocking the establishment. Perhaps the role that they play, mirrors back to the rest of us, the roles and uniforms which we all conform to, in our attempt to find our own identity through an association with a group and the beliefs that they uphold.

I really don’t know that much about the history of clowns throughout time in different cultures, so I googled it.

What I had already had an inkling about, is that court jesters were to the King, as the role comedians have played in various cultures; having the license, through humor, to expose the truth without being condemned. Well, actually some comedians have been ostracized! Among a long list of American comedians, Bill Hicks and earlier Lenny Bruce, stand out as some who were consistently controversial in their scathing and perceptive observations about religion, marriage, morals, drugs, racism and irrational ideas… And though what they have expressed are unfortunately unacceptable to the establishment, in this role, they’ve been able to get away, for the most part, with making their incisive statements.

According to wikipedia regarding clowns, “Examples of historical, clown-like comedic performers have been the pantomimus in ancient Greece, the Lazzi of Commedia dell’Arte, bouffons, court jesters, as well as the French mime tradition. In addition, there are many non-European clowning traditions; the clown-like figures in Japanese Kabuki theater and North American Native Shaman traditions.

Contrary to court jests, clowns have traditionally served a socio-religious and psychological role, and traditionally the role of priest and clown have been held by the same persons. Now THIS is interesting!

Matt Taibbi | Wall Street has no incentive Not to Commit Crimes |

An informative interview with Matt Taibbi. He’s very articulate and educated about the subject he speaks of and has written a book about; wall street getting away with it, American complacency, the media not necessarily being manipulated from the top-down, but influenced with what will draw the best advertising money….

Politicians in Corporate Sponsored Suits

This was posted today on FaceBook, among my community of friends on the Left Coast of the USA.

not | Bank Robbery | but | Robbery by Banks |

Dwight D. Eisenhower in his exit speech on Jan.17, 1961, warned the American people about the military industrial complex.

I was just reading this message by Michael Moore that was in my inbox…and simultaneously received this nudge from a friend who sent the link of the same reverberating theme, covered in an interview by Amy Goodman in Democracy Now. “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?”

In the meantime, here in Berlin, Germany, I encountered a former Spanish housemate whose parents, (like mine in the USA) had their savings dramatically sliced. Her parents had their money in an Icelandic Bank. Point is, that all over the world, hardworking, honest people have had their savings from a lifetime wiped away in a matter of months; while the robbers, who work in the banks, have gotten away with their pockets (assets) stuffed.

-.-.-. “America is not Broke” by Michael Moore -.-.-.

Here’s his speech live on video to the people of Wisconsin.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic — and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here’s what I learned: Money doesn’t grow on trees. It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs. It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system that then grows a new generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the state can’t function. The schools can’t produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy. The crash they created cost us millions of jobs. That too caused a reduction in tax revenue. Everyone ended up suffering because of what the rich did.

The nation is not broke, my friends. Wisconsin is not broke. Saying that the country is broke is repeating a Big Lie. It’s one of the three biggest lies of the decade: 1) America is broke, 2) Iraq has WMD, and 3) The Packers can’t win the Super Bowl without Brett Favre.

The truth is, there’s lots of money to go around. LOTS. It’s just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates. They know they have committed crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to see some of that money that used to be yours. So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them. But just in case that doesn’t work, they’ve got their gated communities, and the luxury jet is always fully fueled, the engines running, waiting for that day they hope never comes. To help prevent that day when the people demand their country back, the wealthy have done two very smart things:

1. They control the message. By owning most of the media they have expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians. Their version of the Dream says that you, too, might be rich some day — this is America, where anything can happen if you just apply yourself! They have conveniently provided you with believable examples to show you how a poor boy can become a rich man, how the child of a single mother in Hawaii can become president, how a guy with a high school education can become a successful filmmaker. They will play these stories for you over and over again all day long so that the last thing you will want to do is upset the apple cart — because you — yes, you, too! — might be rich/president/an Oscar-winner some day! The message is clear: keep you head down, your nose to the grindstone, don’t rock the boat and be sure to vote for the party that protects the rich man that you might be some day.

2. They have created a poison pill that they know you will never want to take. It is their version of mutually assured destruction. And when they threatened to release this weapon of mass economic annihilation in September of 2008, we blinked. As the economy and the stock market went into a tailspin, and the banks were caught conducting a worldwide Ponzi scheme, Wall Street issued this threat: Either hand over trillions of dollars from the American taxpayers or we will crash this economy straight into the ground. Fork it over or it’s Goodbye savings accounts. Goodbye pensions. Goodbye United States Treasury. Goodbye jobs and homes and future. It was friggin’ awesome and it scared the shit out of everyone. “Here! Take our money! We don’t care. We’ll even print more for you! Just take it! But, please, leave our lives alone, PLEASE!”

The executives in the board rooms and hedge funds could not contain their laughter, their glee, and within three months they were writing each other huge bonus checks and marveling at how perfectly they had played a nation full of suckers. Millions lost their jobs anyway, and millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt (see #1).

Until now. On Wisconsin! Never has a Michigander been more happy to share a big, great lake with you! You have aroused the sleeping giant known as the working people of the United States of America. Right now the earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge. Your message has inspired people in all 50 states and that message is: WE HAVE HAD IT! We reject anyone who tells us America is broke and broken. It’s just the opposite! We are rich with talent and ideas and hard work and, yes, love. Love and compassion toward those who have, through no fault of their own, ended up as the least among us. But they still crave what we all crave: Our country back! Our democracy back! Our good name back! The United States of America. NOT the Corporate States of America. The United States of America!

So how do we make this happen? Well, we do it with a little bit of Egypt here, a little bit of Madison there. And let us pause for a moment and remember that it was a poor man with a fruit stand in Tunisia who gave his life so that the world might focus its attention on how a government run by billionaires for billionaires is an affront to freedom and morality and humanity.

Thank you, Wisconsin. You have made people realize this was our last best chance to grab the final thread of what was left of who we are as Americans. For three weeks you have stood in the cold, slept on the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois — whatever it took, you have done it, and one thing is for certain: Madison is only the beginning. The smug rich have overplayed their hand. They couldn’t have just been content with the money they raided from the treasury. They couldn’t be satiated by simply removing millions of jobs and shipping them overseas to exploit the poor elsewhere. No, they had to have more — something more than all the riches in the world. They had to have our soul. They had to strip us of our dignity. They had to shut us up and shut us down so that we could not even sit at a table with them and bargain about simple things like classroom size or bulletproof vests for everyone on the police force or letting a pilot just get a few extra hours sleep so he or she can do their job — their $19,000 a year job. That’s how much some rookie pilots on commuter airlines make, maybe even the rookie pilot who flew me here to Madison today. He told me he’s stopped hoping for a pay increase. All he’s asking for now is enough down time so that he doesn’t have to sleep in his car between shifts at O’Hare airport. That’s how despicably low we have sunk! The wealthy couldn’t be content with just paying this man $19,000 a year. They had to take away his sleep. They had to demean him and dehumanize him and rub his face in it. After all, he’s just another slob, isn’t he?

And that, my friends, is Corporate America’s fatal mistake. But trying to destroy us they have given birth to a movement — a movement that is becoming a massive, nonviolent revolt across the country. We all knew there had to be a breaking point some day, and that point is upon us. Many people in the media don’t understand this. They say they were caught off guard about Egypt, never saw it coming. Now they act surprised and flummoxed about why so many hundreds of thousands have come to Madison over the last three weeks during brutal winter weather. “Why are they all standing out there in the cold?” I mean, there was that election in November and that was supposed to be that!

“There’s something happening here, and you don’t know what it is, do you …?”

America ain’t broke! The only thing that’s broke is the moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it’s one person, one vote, and it’s the thing the rich hate most about America — because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!

Madison, do not retreat. We are with you. We will win together.

Some more Insights on the Corporate Greed Abuses behind the Gulf Oil Crisis

What is scary, is that Amy Goodman informs that President Obama had two weeks ago, authorized drilling of oil in the waters off the coast of Alaska as well as in the Gulf of Mexico, opening up these areas to drilling for oil for the first time