Question Authority (Obligatory Election Day Post)
1. "Did You Know?" Those three words should always raise a red flag. They indicate that you're in the process of being manipulated by your mortal enemy. Whenever I see a propaganda poster or a public service announcement that starts out asking "Did you know?", my immediate response is "No--and I still don't." Any time anyone in a position of authority wants you to believe something, the wisest course is to assume it's a damned lie until proven otherwise.
2. "As Bad as Hitler." Any time the corporate media echoes the government's talking points on how horrible, awful, and thuggish some foreign leader is (I'm talking about the Saddam trial here, obviously), you can safely assume that you're being manipulated into supporting somebody's agenda. I figure Saddam probably really did a lot of the wicked stuff he's accused of--although I've seen accounts that cast considerable doubt on the "people shredders" and "rape rooms," and make me suspect those stories belong in the same category as Belgian nuns and Kuwaiti incubator babies. But if he did do those things, he was doing them for years before the orchestrated demonization campaign began in the fall of 1990. Saddam was torturing and murdering people a long time before 1990, it's just that you didn't hear about it. Why not? Because he was following orders.
Here's a typical scenario. Satan is on the CIA's payroll. All the arch-demons are getting sent to Ft. Benning for training in the latest torture techniques at the SOA/WHISC. Then Satan stops obeying orders from Washington and outlives his usefulness. The next day, Tony Snow is up at the podium announcing in horrified tones all the awful things they suddenly just "discovered" that are going on in Hell. Then the first pictures surface of Rumsfeld shaking hands with the Devil back in 1983.
The CIA and U.S. armed forces have installed some of the bloodiest murders in history into power. But you almost never hear about them in the mainstream media so long as the murderers are doing their jobs, murdering the people that U.S. corporate-state elites want murdered.
3. What are the most important issues in American politics? The ones you never hear about because the two major parties agree on them. And who are the only candidates who are not total manufactured fakes? The third party candidates who can afford to be genuine because they know they haven't got a snowball's chance in hell of being elected.
In the microcosm of Arkansas politics, that's illustrated by all the candidates for statewide office who agree on the priority of "economic development" through special incentives to "bring business into the state"--i.e., try to lure businesses here by offering a better corporate welfare deal than other states. If you suggest that the best form of economic development is through flourishing, diversified local economies, owned by the local population, and that the best way there is to stop subsidizing the big corporations that colonize those local economies; or if you suggest that most of our economic problems are caused by the fact that big business already pays too few of the costs it imposes on society... well, needless to say, that puts you somewhere on the outer fringes.
Locally, I've noticed that just about every single City Council candidate is agreed that the top priority should be to "relieve congestion" by building more roads (in Springdale, that means especially the big east-west corridors through town and the Hwy 412 bypass north of town. Anyone who thinks building more and bigger roads will relieve congestion is delusional. It's understandable, though, that the political establishment has absorbed the conventional wisdom of the local Growth Machine. In fact, though, building more roads just generates more congestion. That bypass and those east-west corridors will just be filled up with the new traffic generated by all the new subdivisions and big box stores built along those subsidized roads.