Saturday, November 27, 2010

New News: I recently became acquainted with and joined an excellent left-of-center news site entitled “The Real News.” It is funded by public contribution and not supported by commercial or governmental money. THAT means a lot. Most of the news we ingest should NOT be for public consumption but, truthfully, it is the ONLY news accessible to many. CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and even PBS depend on commercial and governmental sources of funding. Consequently, we do not get the whole unvarnished truth. “The Real News” offers a difference. I list it on the link below. You can peruse it and see what it has to offer. I decided to join and by joining I contribute toward receiving news that is not sugar coated syrup made to help the distasteful medicine go down more palatably. I also had the option of getting a DVD of my choice. I chose “The National Security State” which is narrated by several national security experts as well as historical novelist Gore Vidal. Both the late Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky have their own DVDs from which to choose.

I also link another article from “The Real News” entitled “US Intelligence Thwarted Attack on Iran” by Ray McGovern, a 27 year agent with the Central Intelligence Agency. It is not only a political critique of the Bush presidency and his allegedly self written book, “Decision Points,” McGovern also provides other links to psychological analysis of the former “commander-in-chief.” It is, to say the least, fascinating. I wrote the following blog in response to it:

How much can the little guy really have an impact on American politics? Americans, sadly, are known for their disinterest in activism. Even when irate interest is stoked it is often lost in a short time, perhaps, through one election cycle.

Worse, however, than even that, the grass roots protest for which people like the late Howard Zinn and others on the left advocated is, in reality, now decidedly right wing. It does NOT see government as having the ability to help. The populist Tea Baggers are an ANTI government, anti tax, ultra nationalist group. This is NOT, I believe, what Zinn had in mind. The Tea Baggers at times share the left’s fury about government propping up big corporations at tax payer expense but our similarity of views ends there. The remedies for the desperate state of our nation are altogether different.

I believe the left side of the political spectrum has its limitations. There simply are NOT enough of us rabidly committed to make policy stick. Worse, we are thought of as unpatriotic. We, therefore, lose a LARGE chunk of the culture wars to right wing extremists. We are the ideological opposite on social issues policy which fuels so much of the fervor on the religious right. There does not seem to be enough emotional juice attached to the left to preserve its power ESPECIALLY when leadership has been, as Ray McGovern says, invertebrate.

We face a HUGE conundrum. Can we work with those on the right who hate corporate control of everything political as we on the left do? I suspect we cannot because there is too much of a social and ideological chasm that separates us. How can the left, then, sustain power? We must sustain our base as we did in 2008 and STAY committed to what we believe. We MUST advocate fiercely for people of color, Hispanic people, the poor, blue collar workers, the immigrant, the middle class, those of different sexual orientations and to save a woman's right to choose. We must harness the power of moderates and progressives of all social classes who KNOW that government is the PARTIAL solution NOT the ETERNAL problem.

Either 1 or 2% percent of the population gets ALL the goodies or we REALIZE the American Dream should be more equitably distributed. It is our choice. Sitting home and staying quiet are NOT acceptable. New news organizations that receive no government or corporate funding SHOULD be the wave of the future to avoid the tsunami of lies that has been the ever-present past!

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