Posts Tagged ‘politics’

By John W. Whitehead
January 17, 2017

“There are two ways by which the spirit of a culture may be shriveled. In the first—the Orwellian—culture becomes a prison. In the second—the Huxleyan—culture becomes a burlesque. No one needs to be reminded that our world is now marred by many prison-cultures…. it makes little difference if our wardens are inspired by right- or left-wing ideologies. The gates of the prison are equally impenetrable, surveillance equally rigorous, icon-worship pervasive…. Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours…. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”— Professor Neil Postman

Donald Trump no longer needs to launch Trump TV.

He’s already the star of his own political reality show.

Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment, and the Trump reality show—guest starring outraged Democrats with a newly awakened conscience for immigrants and the poor, power-hungry Republicans eager to take advantage of their return to power, and a hodgepodge of other special interest groups with dubious motives—feeds that appetite for titillating, soap opera drama.

After all, who needs the insults, narcissism and power plays that are hallmarks of reality shows such as Celebrity Apprentice or Keeping Up with the Kardashians when you can have all that and more delivered up by the likes of Donald Trump and his cohorts?

Yet as John Lennon reminds us, “nothing is real,” especially not in the world of politics.

Much like the fabricated universe in Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show, in which a man’s life is the basis for an elaborately staged television show aimed at selling products and procuring ratings, the political scene in the United States has devolved over the years into a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population.

Indeed, Donald Trump may be the smartest move yet by the powers-that-be to keep the citizenry divided and at each other’s throats, because as long as we’re busy fighting each other, we’ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny in any form.

This is the magic of the reality TV programming that passes for politics today.

It allows us to be distracted, entertained, occasionally a little bit outraged but overall largely uninvolved, content to remain in the viewer’s seat.

The more that is beamed at us, the more inclined we are to settle back in our comfy recliners and become passive viewers rather than active participants as unsettling, frightening events unfold.

Reality and fiction merge as everything around us becomes entertainment fodder.

We don’t even have to change the channel when the subject matter becomes too monotonous. That’s taken care of for us by the programmers (the corporate media).

For instance, before we could get too worked up over government surveillance, the programmers changed the channels on us and switched us over to breaking news about militarized police. Before our outrage could be transformed into action over police misconduct, they changed the channel once again to reports of ISIS beheadings and terrorist shootings. Before we had a chance to challenge what was staged or real, the programming switched to the 2016 presidential election.

“Living is easy with eyes closed,” says Lennon, and that’s exactly what reality TV that masquerades as American politics programs the citizenry to do: navigate the world with their eyes shut.

As long as we’re viewers, we’ll never be doers.

Studies suggest that the more reality TV people watch—and I would posit that it’s all reality TV—the more difficult it becomes to distinguish between what is real and what is carefully crafted farce.

“We the people” are watching a lot of TV.

On average, Americans spend five hours a day watching television. By the time we reach age 65, we’re watching more than 50 hours of television a week, and that number increases as we get older. And reality TV programming consistently captures the largest percentage of TV watchers every season by an almost 2-1 ratio.

 

This doesn’t bode well for a citizenry able to sift through masterfully-produced propaganda in order to think critically about the issues of the day, whether it’s fake news peddled by government agencies or foreign entities.

Those who watch reality shows tend to view what they see as the “norm.” Thus, those who watch shows characterized by lying, aggression and meanness not only come to see such behavior as acceptable and entertaining but also mimic the medium.

This holds true whether the reality programming is about the antics of celebrities in the White House, in the board room, or in the bedroom.

It’s a phenomenon called “humilitainment.”

A term coined by media scholars Brad Waite and Sara Booker, “humilitainment” refers to the tendency for viewers to take pleasure in someone else’s humiliation, suffering and pain.

Humilitainment” largely explains not only why American TV watchers are so fixated on reality TV programming but how American citizens, largely insulated from what is really happening in the world around them by layers of technology, entertainment, and other distractions, are being programmed to accept the brutality, surveillance and dehumanizing treatment of the American police state as things happening to other people.

The ramifications for the future of civic engagement, political discourse and self-government are incredibly depressing and demoralizing.

This not only explains how a candidate like Donald Trump with a reputation for being rude, egotistical and narcissistic could get elected, but it also says a lot about how a politician like Barack Obama—whose tenure in the White House was characterized by drone killings, a weakening of the Constitution at the expense of Americans’ civil liberties, and an expansion of the police state—could be hailed as “one of the greatest presidents of all times.”

This is what happens when an entire nation—bombarded by reality TV programming, government propaganda and entertainment news—becomes systematically desensitized and acclimated to the trappings of a government that operates by fiat and speaks in a language of force.

Ultimately, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the reality shows, the entertainment news, the surveillance society, the militarized police, and the political spectacles have one common objective: to keep us divided, distracted, imprisoned, and incapable of taking an active role in the business of self-government.

If “we the people” feel powerless and apathetic, it is only because we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that the duties of citizenship begin and end at the ballot box.

Marching and protests have certainly been used with great success by past movements to foment real change, but if those marches and protests are merely outpourings of discontent because a particular politician won or lost with no solid plan of action or follow-through, then what’s the point?

Martin Luther King Jr. understood that politics could never be the answer to what ailed the country. That’s why he spearheaded a movement of mass-action strategy that employed boycotts, sit-ins and marches. Yet King didn’t march against a particular politician or merely to express discontent. He marched against injustice, government corruption, war, and inequality, and he leveraged discontent with the status quo into an activist movement that transformed the face of America.

When all is said and done, it won’t matter who you voted for in the presidential election. What will matter is where you stand in the face of the injustices that continue to ravage our nation: the endless wars, the police shootings, the overcriminalization, the corruption, the graft, the roadside strip searches, the private prisons, the surveillance state, etc.

Will you tune out the reality TV show and join with your fellow citizens to push back against the real menace of the police state, or will you merely sit back and lose yourself in the political programming aimed at keeping you imprisoned in the police state?

 

The definition of ignorant is one who does not know, but is capable of learning. The definition of stupid is one who cannot learn. The Republican Party is currently lead by very stupid people.

Mathematically, there are only three realistic avenues for the current Republican Primary:

1. Trump wins outright;
2. Cruz wins outright;
3. No one wins enough delegates and this is decided at the Convention.

 

As of last night, it is mathematically impossible for either Kasich or Rubio to win. Even if one drops out of the race, the remaining states simply do not offer the dedicated delegate counts to place either Kasich or Rubio over the top. Thus, a vote for either of them is effectively a vote for a Brokered Convention.

This is what the RNC Leadership wants. They sincerely believe that they can deny Trump and Cruz an outright win and by doing so, choose a more suitable candidate. They calculate that, despite the grumbling, Hillary Clinton will be so unacceptable to the Republican electorate that Republicans will vote for “Ham Sandwich” if they nominate Ham Sandwich for President. They are wrong.

They are obviously not listening to the nearly 65% of the electorate – many new Republican voters – who are rejecting their message outright. At first I thought they were just ignorant and deaf. Now I am convinced that they are incapable of learning. They are stupid.

THIS is why I left the Republican Party.

Trump’s fans will NOT support a candidate who effectively stole their nominee’s election. Cruz’s fans may be more amenable, but no doubt less enthused. A Brokered Convention will guarantee low or NO turn-out in November.

How do I know? In November 2012 the most unacceptable President in US history cruised to reelection while an uninspiring candidate led a campaign with the zeal of warm milk. Maybe the RNC missed that reality check four years ago. If you steal the nomination from either man, you have no one on the bench that can galvanize Republican support to overcome the anger both candidate’s supporters would feel.

It is now time for the leadership to give up the game and make a choice: Trump of Cruz. Mathematically, that is it. If you are betting on a Brokered Convention, you are betting on a blood bath.

Not that I expect the RNC to listen to me or you. After all, we are just the voters. They “know better” right?

Well, here is an alternative strategy to nip this in the bud immediately and save the Republican Party’s stupid leadership from itself: Trump and Cruz should get on the same stage and say the following, “The mathematical reality is that this race is now between only two candidates – me and him. The only other choice is a brokered convention, which is an attempt to steal your votes. Consequently, Ted and I have come to an agreement: if either of us is leading in the polls, but do not have enough votes to win the nomination outright, the candidate in second place will pledge his delegates to the one who is leading.”

Boom! That would shock the establishment and force them to take both men and their supporters seriously. Would these men or could these men do such a thing? Absolutely. Why? Because it would be the very middle finger to the establishment they both represent.

Will they? Hmmmm… have them give me a call and I will tell them how.

Meanwhile, it is time to make your choice, RNC Leadership. You only have two. You do not have three or four. Learn from 2012 – if you are intellectually capable of doing so or face your undoing.

Assuming you are not as stupid as we think you are.

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The GOP won enough seats on Tues to take control of the Senate-which will change nothing,not one thing.

The Dems and the GOP are so far removed from from the founders idea of a representative form of government,where the people get to have a say in everything that government does,that they would not recognize the clusterfuck we currently have in DC.

The Dems and the GOP both work for themselves first and foremost,and team .gov inc. secondly.

The red team/blue team bullshit being swallowed by the “average American”-who is becoming dumber with each graduating class from the .gov inc. / leftist indoctrination camps that our public schools have become-is nothing more than bread and circuses-heavy on the .gov inc EBT card provided bread and HFCS.

The “average American” is a dumb,fat,lazy, pathetically out of shape wage slave who simply does not understand-or refuses to believe what’s going on in front of their eyes.

Team .gov inc is taking the citizens freedoms a little at time.

This started as a death by a thousand cuts approach,lately-it is turning into an all-out assault on our freedoms.

The gestapo kicks in doors at 4 am,often the wrong door,at the wrong home,and faces no wrath from the dumbed down fat fucks that make up most of the citizenry-they actually swallow the team .gov inc. propaganda that these raids are to keep them safe from “terrorists” and violent criminals.

The gestapo stops random cars on our interstate highways,and searches innocent citizens,confiscating their hard earned cash without ever charging them with a crime.

The IRS just takes citizens hard earned cash directly from their bank accounts-without ever charging them with a crime.

The gestapo can force you,by using your own fingerprint-to “unlock” your smartphone-without first obtaining a warrant.

The NSA is tracking every text,e-mail,phone call,and the internet browsing history of all of us.

The new TV sets have so much technology that the NSA could easily abuse that you can be on video and audio,being watched by the NSA any time you are in the same room as your new flat screen tee vee.

I’m sure that it won’t be long before team .gov inc. is spying on all of us via drones-they probably already are.

Print and TV journalists are being spied on by team .gov inc.

The media is largely state run now-nothing more than propaganda being spewed by team .gov inc.

You can not even build a new pole barn,garage,or remodel your home without a multitude of local,county and state agencies getting some of your hard earned $$$. After all that-the EPA can just claim your property is a wetland,or an endangered toad,frog,mouse,lizard,tortoise,or unicorn lives in the area,and it’s now off limits to any and all human activity.

The BLM is working with the EPA,and a bunch of the animal “rights” whackos,and enviro-nazis to classify millions of acres of fed lands “Areas Of Environmental Concern”,and restricting or banning human activities on said lands.

The BLM is not the only team .gov inc. agency working with the EPA, animal “rights” whackos,and enviro-nazis-the USFS has banned logging on billions of acres of national forest lands,the USFWS has banned and/or restricted fishing and hunting on fed lands,as has the Army Corps of Engineers.

The leftist governors of NY CO,and Conneticut,along with both state’s elected representatives have banned certain types of firearms,and the standard capacity magazines that go with them,making all of those-and there are quite a lot of “those” who refuse to comply with the bans instant felons.

None of the leftist/socialist governors has sent his state’s gestapo,and their “SWAT” teams to begin kicking doors in the middle of the night,and hauling the gun owners lucky enough to not have been killed by the poorly trained,trigger happy team .gov inc. members of the “SWAT” teams off to the gulag.

Should these morons begin kicking in doors at 4am to attempt gun confiscation-a whole lot of people are going to die,because most people I know-if their door was kicked in at 4am-are coming out of their bedroom shooting to kill the intruders.

Should these fucktard governors decide that kicking in doors to confiscate guns is a good idea-they will ignite a civil war that will make version I look like it was re-enactment,it would last years,and many millions would die.

The three states still have the same fucktards as governors-CO and Conn. have populations of leftists that vastly outnumber those who value freedom and rightful liberty.

So does NY,but like CO’s Denver,NYC and the large cities in Conn-the leftists in the big cites now outnumber the rest of the states-where the majority of gun owners reside.

The  first, second,and fourth amendments are being largely ignored by team .gov inc.

The fat,dumbed down,pathetically out of shape sheeple were all warm and fuzzy over the GOP wins-that’s because they have lost the ability to think for themselves,and are too busy watching the bullshit on the tee-vee,watching football,or “reality” shows.

Some people are opening their eyes,and waking up to the shit being pulled by team .gov inc.

More people need to be aware of what is actually taking place in our government-it’s sure as hell not a government of the people,by the people,and for the people any longer.

Those elected to represent the citizenry represent themselves first, and team .gov inc second-they could care less about you and me. They are too busy enriching themselves,their families,and their friends,being bought and paid for by lobbyists, and lining up a job after they leave office.

Red team or blue team-there’s no difference-they are both only out for themselves and team .gov inc.

It’s not likely that we can vote our way out of the mess that is the federal government…

“…and the sad truth is that 95% of the problems we have in this country could be solved tomorrow, by noon… simply by dragging 100 people out in the street and shooting them in the fucking head.” – An anonymous former US Marine.

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