Saturday, January 26, 2013

United In Name Only, Divided We Stand.

The people of the USA provide an easy soft target for those bent on creating and maintaining a division between them. A comment on a piece by David Sirota this week "Actually, Obama Does Support Perpetual War", criticising the President's second inauguration speech brought this home to me again.

Snip from Mr. Sirota's article~~
Four years into his presidency, Barack Obama’s political formula should be obvious. He gives fabulous speeches teeming with popular liberal ideas, often refuses to take the actions necessary to realize those ideas and then banks on most voters, activists, reporters and pundits never bothering to notice – or care about – his sleight of hand.

Whether railing on financial crime and then refusing to prosecute Wall Street executives or berating health insurance companies and then passing a health care bill bailing out those same companies, Obama embodies a cynical ploy – one that relies on a celebrity-entranced electorate focusing more on TV-packaged rhetoric than on legislative reality.

Never was this formula more apparent than when the president discussed military conflicts during his second inaugural address. Declaring that “a decade of war is now ending,” he insisted that he “still believe(s) that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

The lines generated uncritical applause, much of it from anti-war liberals who protested against the Bush administration. Living up to Obama’s calculation, few seemed to notice that the words came from the same president who is manufacturing a state of “perpetual war.”
The piece appeared at Salon and Common Dreams, perhaps elsewhere too. I agreed with what Mr. Sirota put forward, but was also in accord with many commenters, especially those at Common Dreams, when they pointed out that just weeks ago Mr Sirota was encouraging readers to vote for Barack Obama in November's presidential election, rather than leading an attempt to bring the Green or other party further to the fore. One comment at Salon rang particularly true and managed to put, in a nutshell, the whole dire situation. The highlighted (by me) portion relates to the rest of this post, and to the ease with which the population of the US can be herded into two camps.
....The entire Obama m.o. is "Liberal speeches, Conservative governance," and it is not only the unbelievably gullible/scared/misguided Democratic base that helps him, and the media sycophants (MSNBC) that shill for his narrative and sweep his hypocrisy under the rug, but it is the lunatic Right that helps him also. The more they call him Stalin, the more the Obama Left rushes to his defense and ignores that he is actually Mussolini. The more extreme they sound about policy (and there is no shortage of this, of course), the more the rest of the country is trapped into supporting the unprincipled failure who at least isn't batsh*t insane. It adds up to a perfect system of misdirection and endless partisan bickering among the citizenry in sports-fandom for a completely phony "fight" in Washington that isn't actually happening at all.
("Benga" 25 Jan 2013 11.32 AM)

I've written along these lines before......

The states are united, the people never will be. Their destiny, and their desire, it appears, is to remain passionately divided, with more than a little help from their "friends". In the past, the extent of it wasn't as easily noted by the average person. The internet has provided a viewing platform unavailable until recent years.

I'm drawn back to the astrological chart for the USA known as The Armistead Chart, set for 2 July 1776, the date on which Congress adopted a resolution of independence. Most astrologers choose one of the US charts set for for 4 July - Independence Day, when the resolution was proclaimed. I believe that the time when Congress adopted the resolution, was the time the die was truly cast. I've copied the chart from the collection at Astrodatabank, and taken the liberty of further highlighting a relevant division.

Normally, I'm skeptical about astrological charts for inanimate entities such as countries, but this one could convince me there's value in them. Just look at that opposition between Mercury (communication, mental processes) and Moon/Pluto. Moon represents the public, Pluto = powerful passions. As I see it, that opposition dominates the chart and symbolises the dichotomy.

I'm not surprised to find that Washington DC itself has been described as a city of dichotomies:
Washington was a city of dichotomies, contrasts, and striking inequalities. It was the capital of a major democracy that lacked local democracy. It was a citadel of power whose residents lacked power. It was a city with an excess of multimillion dollar office buildings and a shortage of housing. It was a city that was wealthier than most in which a sizable minority lives in great poverty. It had a 70 percent black population but the major decisions were still made by whites. It was a city in which the American dream and the American tragedy passed each other on the street and did not speak. It was, finally, a city that had suffered a form of deprivation known primarily to the poor and the imprisoned, a psychological deprivation born of the constant suppression and denial of one's identity, worth, or purpose by those in control. Washington to those in power was not a place but a hall to rent. The people of Washington were the custodian staff. And the renters were as likely to visit the world in which this staff lived as a parishioner is to inspect the boiler room of the church. The purpose of Washington's community was to serve not to be.

Image credit:


mike said...

I kowtow to neither party...I'm an independent voter. I voted for Obama the previous two elections, because his opponents were more concerning to me. I believe that Obama is very aware of his principles and beliefs, but is likewise aware of reality...reality in the US Congress of whores and the lobbyist pimps on the sugar daddy corporate payrolls.

A good example is your previous commentary insisting that Obama take a stand on gun control. Well, he did...I'm sure you're aware of the Republican-led reaction, only to be out-done by the American public! Obama's so-called doublespeak about ending our two wars, yet taking flak for not assisting Syria and for not nuking Iran (as Romney wanted to perform)...and not running to assist the African nations in serious conflict. Maybe a better dissertation could be had if the US could actually find some topic that isn't so polarizing that Obama can't win for losing.

You make the "internet viewing platform" comment. I agree with your notion, but it has also made spreading false facts and fallacy as fast as electrons can carry them. The American public doesn't want to separate fact from fiction anymore, if falsehood supports their version of the truth. The internet also makes it possible to set-up website fronts that make it impossible to know the individuals behind the site and their motives...but most want your money and solicit to your political viewpoints.

I'm sure that you get tired of me saying this, Twilight, but each of us partakes in our nation's downfall through our every day decisions. If each of us led by example and quit pointing fingers, think what could be accomplished! Some individuals are better at this than others.

Remember when the "war on terrorists" started and the implication that purchasing gasoline was simply putting money in the hands of terrorists? That didn't stop drivers from filling-up with gasoline. Eventually, the high price of gasoline is what made motorists cut-down on consumption. Americans tend to only see consequences through dollar value...which speaks volumes.

Ditto for Walmart. Don't shop there and small, American owned businesses will emerge...just like they disappeared when Walmart emerged with the lowest prices. I'm amazed at how far people will drive to find a bargain, but won't make the same drive, if it means saving the American values.

Have you paid attention to Apple products? Most are manufactured in China, with Asian sub-contractors...this is what makes Apple products so "cheap" also allows Apple to minimize the tax burden payable to the US. These Chinese manufacturing plants are now undergoing audits and finding that there are many underage children working in these factories. High school children are being forced to perform "internships" to fill empty positions within factories. The Chinese workers for Apple products work a 60 hour week, maybe more. Out of sight, out of mind we Americans say...don't bother me with details. But I'll be mad as hell and make derogatory website comments, if my cellphone calls are dropped by my carrier.

We are also the same weirdos that can spend hours engorging ourselves with reality TV and following every nuance of its dispersal. Most know every detail of Kim Kardashian's intimate life. Yet most Americans have no clue where Britain is on a map, or the name of our Secretary of State. Duh.

I'm hoping that most of America's current despair is being caused by the Uranus-Pluto square. That would indicate our division is only a temporary thing and succession isn't really necessary.

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Thank you for taking the time and trouble to comment so fully.

I could, but will not, argue point by point, on some issues where we disagree. Your views are much the same as my husband's as far as President Obama and his performance are concerned, and I can't persuade differently. I see things with "fresh" eyes, which might be a good thing, or might be misleading - depending on one's point of view.

I'll say just one thing : the Prez is as much on the sugar daddy corporate payrolls as are the congressional bozos and bozesses - that's what got him where he is today! That's at the root of my main complaints.

There are a few commenters here and there on the net who think exactly as I do - and I have not been influenced by their views - I had 'em first! ;-) Their views serve only to give me confidence that I'm not alone. My opinions are well to the left of what USA-ans think of as left, because to me the USA left is centre right. I'd be very willing to shift a bit to the right if I could sense someone was genuinely trying - I do not get that sense from Prez Obama.

We need to keep pointing fingers, Mike. We are not sheep to be led willy-nilly where a shepherd of doubtful motive tries to lead.
If more people had opened their eyes and minds decades ago and pointed fingers things would be in a much better place today. What the heck have y'all been thinking?

That's my opinion as someone with an alien, but I think still valid perspective.

The Walmart argument you make is valid, but because things have been allowed to go so far, I suspect we're beyond the point of no return, no matter if some well-intentioned people shop elsewhere whenever they can, it will not make much difference.

I agree on Apple - I've mentioned this before in posts. I have no Apple products, no cellphone of my own even, no need of one. Also, it's not only Apple - many other companies and corporations play the same game. It's hard to find stuff NOT made in China these days.

I wouldn't judge people for watching reality TV, as long as they also take an interest and do a bit of critical thinking about civic and political matters. I watch American Idol and other talent shows, classed as reality TV - I'll not apologise for it, nor should anyone else if they also think about more serious issues.

The US "celebrity culture" doesn't impress me however, but when I was a teen I was as star-struck by film stars of that time as any teenager today - it's a phase we (some of us) go through I guess.

It used to surprise me that Americans have so little knowledge of countries outside of the US - but then, why would they need it? There's enough in the USA to last anyone for several lifetimes without venturing outside its borders - well to Mexico and Canada perhaps. Whereas Europeans and Brits, from nations not much bigger than individual US states, find it natural and necessary to learn as they travel. I'd venture, too, that the education system is, or used to be, more strict and all-encompassing in the UK than in the USA.

I hope you're right about the Uranus/Pluto square, Mike, but I fear that the country has always been divided and will always be divided - that's the way "They" want it, and the people are only too willing to be led into two pens.

mike (again) said...

The concerns both of us have voiced here are not necessarily confined to the US. Seems the entire world is in flux right now...usually by the hands of the governing politicians.

Here's a good one...just read this tonight...a Colorado Catholic hospital claims seven month old unborn twins are not people. Hmmm...seems contrary to what they espouse:|maing8|dl8|sec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D262159
This is to save the hospital from legal liability.

The disappointment you assign to Obama could just as easily go to the Pope (current or past)...the great church has embroiled itself through denial of too many egregious acts of many sorts (scandal of homes for unwed mothers, pedophile priests, rape, Vatican banking scandal, etc.), knowing that threads of secrecy were key to survival.

I think the Brits have seen some disenchantment, too, most of which mirrors the American version. How about that Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank, etc, LIBOR scandal? Or News of the World phone hacking? London has been the center of many demonstrations-turn-riots the past several years over several political and financial ruses.

There has been a major divide in the Republican party since the Tea Party had their first party. The realization by Republicans that they need to change their tune is heartwarming (ie, let's put on a good front). Tonight's Republican news is that Paul Ryan is issuing warnings to the GOP and Jindal is mocking Ryan! That's choice.

Yes, Twilight, we do need to keep pointing fingers, but there needs to be some action behind the pointing. I don't discount the influence of actions that I can take myself to serve as an example that can offset a tiny fraction of the harm I view.

Can you tell by my comments that it's just prior to a full moon?!

Anonymous said...

I have commented before prior to the 2012 election about Obama or as I call him, Barry Sotero. He is a made up individual with a clever marketing campaign. The novelty of his mixed race (he is not African American)gave the Democrats a chance to appeal to young kids. minorities and those fuzzy thinking intellectuals who teach in our universities. I know that type well as I was enchanted by them in my callow youth; even had my first affair with one of them. Democrats believe that Barry's 2 terms are the beginning of years of winning the White House. In truth, progressives are at their peak and will be rapidly falling back to the 20% of the electorate where they've always been.Obama voters will never admit that they were duped. It isn't in their nature to say I was wrong or I was conned.

I have voted for every Democrat since McGovern and when I saw the way the party cheated and lied to take the nomination away from Hillary, I said "Enough" and became an Independent. I live in the state that sent actors to the State capital for no other reason than their celebrity and then complain when it's not what they thought it would be. The same will hold true with Barry. He is a grifter with no past and no principals or integrity. I said before that astrologers cannot make honest assesments of his chart because somewhere the birth information is a lie. I hope that the Uranus-Pluto square and Saturn in Scorpio will expose the truth about this imposter. We have seen it happening in corporations and now well known personalities. Barry's time will come. Karma, it'a bitch!

R J Adams said...

I fear you're right on this one. Obama's speech last week was full of gutsy promises. He was going to sort out Wall Street. Then he hires Mary Jo White as head of the SEC. "She's tough - no one messes with Mary Joe."
Oh, no? Mary Joe's not quite the financial lily-white guardian angel Obama would have us believe.


Make interesting reading.

Twilight said...

mike ~ The news story of the death of a mother and unborn 7-month twins is tragic.....from the detail available it sounds to me as though the woman's doctor was too lazy or careless to get himself to the hospital - or at least to contact a colleague on duty at the time. It beggars belief! There might be more to it than we are being told, of course. but the excuse the lawyers are making now is BAD considering the church and right wing stance on abortion - even very early abortion.....and even contraception!

I'll never defend the Pope and Roman Catholic church for anything, nor any other church and leaders for that matter.
I broke with organised religion many years ago. Self-serving power grasping rogues the lot of 'em.

There is a world-wide malaise, agreed, it's not just in the USA - though many would say that the USA's financial escapades over past years contributed greatly to what has happened in Europe and the UK to bring about the malaise.
Ordinary people over there, though, have the benefit of proper health care available to all, and social safety nets, good working conditions, paid sick leave and good employment law. Not so in the USA. Why?

Full Moon got me too....usually does one way or another! It's good to let off steam.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~~ Hi there! Thanks for your thoughts, which are more or less in line with my own.
What puzzles me is why are progressives so few in the US - 20%? What is it about so-called "progressive" ideas that is so "foreign" to ordinary USA-ans? Do they really still think that via The American Dream and conservative values they could all become millionaires? They have allowed themselves to become brainwashed and herded into strict left/right mindsets - that's at root, I think. Those really running the country can then get on with their dastardly deeds, while the people wrangle and fight among themselves.

I could never understand why so few people supported Dennis Kucinich in 2008.

Media are to blame for much - their corporate bosses pull the strings, invisible strings to most people.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~ Are you at all surprised though? The pattern of his first round of appointments in 2008 continues - it's the only pattern he knows - wishes to follow or is allowed to follow (take your pick).

I couldn't bring myself to listen to the inauguration speech - words, words - empty words, cynically empty words.

The general pattern of the last 4 years will continue too - betcha!
Obama's apologists will continue to "see no evil" while he backs policies which, if carried out by a Republican would have brought strong opposition and outrage.

"The more effective evil" is what Democrats have become - the term used by an enlightened journalist (rare breed).

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, during the reign of Obama, progressive have given the movement a bad name. During FDRs' years in office this country had a sane, activist government that put into place successful safety net programs for the average citizen, not "gimme" entitlements ones. I should correct myself in that LBJs' Great Society were suppose to be New Deal type programs but the country and the culture began to take a lot of self absorbed wrong turns. We were a young dare I say, innocent country that didn't experience war or deprivation as Europe and other societies did. I my opinion, 11/22/63 shook the stardust from our eyes and we changed permenently from the only nation we knew. Going back in history, you mentioned why we tend to lean to the right. This country was founded on the belief and principals of the individual;the pioneer spirit if you will. Always looking to do or achieve something new and different. The government enacted a set of laws that you obeyed but it wasn't suppose to tell you how to run your life. That was the main argument against Obamacare....forget the fact for a moment that its' a terrible law which will create more problems than solve. My Ronald Reagan loving ex-husband hated Social Security and Medicare until he reached 65 and then contracted an incurable neurological disease he would never been able to pay for on his own. Conservatives have very little common sense when it comes to ordinary everyday occurances but the liberals need to take their heads out of the clouds and stop treating this country like its' a reality show or Switzerland.

Twilight said...

Anonymous #2 ~~ Hi!

Thanks for your comment. I'm in agreement with much of it. But I don't see why progressives have given the movement a bad name. The label "progressive" covers a lot of ground - I see it as referring to those to the left of Obama, those who are not afraid to criticise the president for not going far enough, for kow-towing to corporations, and being called names because of it, being told to "stop whining" or called "fucking retards" (Rahm Emanuel) or just recently: "“Cheeto-eating people in the basement working in their underwear” (by the National Security Director) in the piece I linked to in this post.

I understand and admire the pioneering spirit of those who came first to this country - but even they needed community and regulation, a sheriff, a judge, a town council and mayor to function properly. For decades they were but few - not the teeming 311,591,917+ of today.
Attitudes simply have to move on.

This is the part of your comment I don't understand : "the liberals need to take their heads out of the clouds and stop treating this country like its' a reality show or Switzerland."

My view is that most liberals need to shake the fog from their eyes and see what's really going on, and same applies to conservatives. Both sides are blaming each other when the real enemy is the body really running this country - a cartel of bankers and the corporations who have bought the government.

It is in their interest to keep the country divided....and it is working.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps it is my profound disappointment with the progressives in that they seem to admire style over substance. There are those on the left who have been critical of Obama - NOW- but were his greatest champions in 2008 and even 2012. Very few will admit the truth about this person. To admit being wrong would mean there is something lacking in them. They take this personally. Progressives had a choice for a candidate far better prepared than Obama and they chose the clever marketing campaign. Schwartzengger on a national scale. This is where I am angry with the progresssive movement. If they compromised a bit, they would have had more than they have now. I doubt they will learn their lesson. Another Obama or Dean will come along and they will fall for that story while another Kucinich or Bernie Sanders isn't given a chance.

As to the conservatives, they are a dying breed. The world has moved on, they just don't know it or refuse to acknowledge it. Living on the West Coast after years back East, I can say, "I have seen the future".

My comments on the pioneering spirit was just to say that this countrys' beginnings were different from other cultures but still young enough that we are constantly evolving.

I really enjoy your mixture of blog topics. They are so heart felt and well informed.

BTW, have you seen the movie "Scandal" based on the John Profumo/Christine Keeler saga? If so, I would like your opinion on it. I enjoyed the political/class system/hypocrisy aspect of it but not being British, I may have missed some of the nuances of the film.

Twilight said...

Anonymous #2 ~~ Ah! Yes! I didn't fully understand your previous remarks (sorry) - now I do - and agree wholeheartedly! Anyone who calls themself progressive and didn't support Dennis Kucinich, until he had to withdraw, in 2008 doesn't understand the word progressive!

I went through the 2008 lineup via Kucinich and Gravel, then Edwards (he let us down), Hillary, then Obama - and I, still wet behind the ears welcomed his presidency with enthusiasm. It didn't take long for me to realise my mistake.

Thanks - I'm glad to know you find something of interest here.

Re the movie Scandal, no I haven't seen it, but you reminded me of that fact and I've ordered a used VHS tape this afternoon. I lived through the Profumo scandal (as it was called) in England. Still remember it quite clearly.

I'm interested to see how a film-maker has treated those traumatic events - at least as much of them as the public were permitted to know....there was probably much, much more hidden.

After I've seen the tape I'll do a post on it.

I did briefly mention Christine Keeler in a post in 2008:

mike (again) said...

I found John Townley's astro interpretation very interesting...he uses the classic chart...12 degrees Sag rising, July 4th. Most of the same aspects he discusses are valid for your July 2nd charting, but different rising and houses.

Twilight said...

mike ~~~ I like John Townley's style - that's a good piece. Thanks.

I've sometimes thought about the possibility of the nation suffering from an inner, well-hidden insecurity - and tried to understand certain aspects of behaviour in that light - but some days it's very hard to be that kind about things.