West, moonhowlers, poets and anarchists
Expanded from the 11-25-2007 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Every yahoo running for office this year advocates change of everything from undergarments to infrastructure. Even the most hidebound, fatcat, long-term incumbents are running TV spots exposing themselves as born-again apostles of change. If you run against yourself, you can't lose. Then again, running against your own record means you might beat yourself.
So everybody this year is the alternative candidate running to protect us against them. In the 1940 classic film My Little Chickadee, a smitten young man drops to one knee before sexy Mae West and offers to protect her and take her away from all this.
The immortal Mae smoulders straight into the camera and sizzles "Every man I meet wants to protect me. From what, I wonder?"
That sounds familiar. Who said it? Oh, yeah.
Host: Sam Shad, superstar
Co-Host: Marlene Lockhard/Capital Strategies, former chief of staff and dragon lady to Gov. Richard Bryan.
Guest: Kim Wallin, CPA, Nevada state controller
Pundits: Bob Crowell, attorney, Kummer-Kaempfer and member, Carson City School District Board of Trustees; Vinson Guthreau, VP, j3 Strategies; NevadaLabor.com editor Andrew Barbano, who says bad things about Gov. Jim the Dim's appointment of an unqualified right wing moonhowler as state energy director. The Barbwire man also trashes a glowing e-mail sent to Mr. Shad by the nuclear lobby. A fun time was had by most.
You may download it, view it online or on your IPod by accessing the Nov. 28 show at NevadaNewsmakers.com
On October 25, 1992.
Like 15 years ago, today we suffer from a plethora of protectors, among whom the flavor of the month appears to be Libertarian-turned-Republican Ron Paul.
Rep. Paul, R-Texas, was the L-party's presidential nominee in 1988 before pulling a Newt Gingrich and defecting in order to get elected in the Confederacy.
Like scotch and coffee, Libertarians take a little getting used to.
In 1992, then-New York Times columnist William Safire wrote a piece advocating a vote for Paul's successor, Las Vegas real estate broker Andre Marrou. Safire positioned Marrou as "the fourth man," a much better protest alternative than madcap Ross Perot.
"Libertarians want to get most government out of the lives of individuals," Safire wrote.
"Police and fire departments are fine, they say, as is a tiny bit of national defense, but get the government out of all other activities that private enterprise and organized charity can do more efficiently. This includes (gulp) schooling, welfare, health, retirement, all those things we have come to take as entitlements.
"A little extreme? You ain't heard nothin' yet on civil liberty: decriminalize drugs and prostitution, forget gun control or abortion limitation, eliminate federal agencies, settle environmental clashes in court, permit open immigration. By taking this course, say the Libertarians with a capital L, we could do away with the Internal Revenue Service .The Marrou-Lord (Maryland physician Nancy) ticket would wipe out the income tax altogether in stages until voluntary financing of small government becomes a reality.
"That's silly, you say. I agree; if taken literally, the Libertarian platform is so far out of the mainstream as to be high and dry. Lefties and righties alike harrumph and say 'Now, that's going too far.'
"Although most Libertarians will never admit it, their platform is meant to be taken figuratively, not literally," Safire wrote.
"Part of their charm is their ability to keep a straight face as they espouse this outrageous philosophy. That's because they are talking in poetry, not prose .Libertarians want to catch your attention with Draconian proposals The Libertarian function, as I see it, is to present an opportunity for protest in its pure form by leaning against statist or moralizing tendencies in both parties," Safire concluded.
EVERY SPERM IS SACRED. Ron Paul has discarded some of the L-shaped philosophy. The former obstetrician-gynecologist is opposed to abortion and advocates for embryonic rights. He thinks such matters should be left to the states. He fails to note that most states have already enacted laws setting up such high bars to abortion services that the procedure is impossible to obtain in many parts of the country.
Paul would be a great candidate in 1808, not 2008. He shares the dream of a lot of latter day anarchists, the day when every county can be a nation unto itself. And if you don't like what the county is doing, you can secede and make your little acre a nation unto itself. Your home can be your castle, surrounded with walls, gun turrets and machine guns to protect you, your wives and the minimal number of slaves you will need to keep things in their proper places.
I'm exaggerating to make a point, but so is Mr. Paul. His whimsical wanderings seem refreshing to people who want to be spoonfed pixy dust protections against howling desert sandstorms. With what would he replace all taxes? Why, excises and tariffs could fund the government just fine, like they did back in 1808.
"Some Libertarians are fit for office," I wrote in 1992, "others are not. I heard a Libertarian running in Sparks publicly say 'poor people choose to be poor,' and then go on about rugged individualism."
That person probably got a job working for former Sparks schoolboy Karl Rove.
In this newspaper last Wednesday, the Associated Press quoted Mr. Paul as wanting to replace government programs with "individual liberty and responsibility."
He forgets that people with nothing have nothing left to lose, a recipe for revolution. Which is exactly where this kind of fuzzy logic leads.
NEW AND HOT
Longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Everything You Need to Know About the Nevada Presidential Caucus and then some site
When longtime Libertarian activist James Dan announced his departure from the party several years ago, he said that his colleagues were basically anarchists and as such could never become cohesive enough to win elections on a wide scale. (Former Sparks Councilman Ernest Walker, a Libertarian, lasted a single term.)
Mr. Paul and his true believers need not worry. The way things are going, the big bad U.S. of A. is well on the way toward devolution.
When the next big crash hits shortly, the nation won't have much choice but to de facto break up into regions, as I have often written.
The process will be painful, but as visionary Jane Jacobs noted in 1984, big centralized countries sow the seeds of their own decline, always have. (References at Barbwire.US)
She noted that Norway and Singapore might prove harbingers of the economic benefits of breaking up into smaller entities. I submit that the Czech Republic might be another. Making each county or neighborhood or apartment its own nation might reach the point of diminishing Libertarian returns.
The siren song of Ron Paul will be replaced by a bloom for Big Apple Mayor Michael Bloomberg's billions by springtime. Then we will be allowed a choice between two corporate conservatives in the fall and the country will continue on its merry path toward fascist totalitarian rule.
Anarchy might be preferable.
Be well. Raise hell.
NAOMIKLEIN.ORG: The Shock Doctrine Short Film
A Film by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein, directed by Jonás Cuarón
An official selection of the Toronto Film Festival
An official selection of the Venice Film Festival
The Shock Doctrine short film is cleared for Internet use but not for broadcast,
so feel free to share it with your friends.
NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.
Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate. For additional comments on the work of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning team, use the NevadaLabor.com search engine and sweep for "Barlett."
The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below
ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press
SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.
By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)
Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.
Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.
BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey
BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy
The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966
Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
I've been telling you so for more than 10 freakin' year
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Learn about the goodies which suffering profitmongers suck from the public trough
Nevada: Right to Work for Less
Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it
The Dean's List
The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006
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Copyright © 1982-2007 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO, and the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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