Swans Commentary » swans.com April 7, 2008  



Power, Profits, Propaganda Unbound


by Carol Warner Christen





"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

—Thomas Jefferson


(Swans - April 7, 2008)   Over the previous two centuries, the chains of the Constitution eroded and no longer bind the men in power. The mischief certain men do today to our country, and the world is unconscionable. We have old sayings, such as "all power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely;" (1) and, "for what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (2) Apparently, it brings great riches and unbound power, especially for men without sympathy or care for the rest of humanity who were not in the right time and in the right place, especially certain wombs in certain families.

As for propaganda, the Founders created the Fourth Estate as free to "tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," which is now a game in Washington, D.C., to hide any and all truths. Sound bites are thought up by think tanks, lobbyists, and politicians mainly for money from the United States Treasury, also known as the Federal Reserve Bank. These sound bites are not truth per se; they attempt to pass for truth.

Today, it is as if our Constitution was elbowed over a cliff and dashed to death on the old foundations by the current men of mischief. They have found the secret of the Holy Grail -- IOU's, known as Treasury Bonds, backed by the People's taxes. They can cleverly loot the People's general welfare by cutting back on the programs that benefit individuals, such as the old, the sick, the soldier, the children, the states, the women.

In this age of failings, there are the planet's atmosphere warming, the dependence on technologies to transport too many humans on a planet built for -- maybe -- two billion, but actually containing seven billion people who double faster and faster. Water is wasted, polluted, full of unnecessary chemicals and there are plans for more chemicals, more usage. Trees are cut down to send endless pieces of advertising and junk mail again and again for donations none of us have enough money for any more. Trees are cut to grow other crops. We seem to have forgotten that trees bring needed rain. Profit is more important than rain.

The stripping of mountaintops, dumping them into the surrounding areas for profit, lifeless and dangerous to animal life, including ours, will go on until the resources run out. Melting ocean ice changes the entire planet. The extra water released wrecks homes foolishly built on the edges for the view and the ambiance. The infrastructure of bridges, roads, buildings, treatment plants, town centers are all aging and need replacement, failings without end and without any will or funds to correct the problems. Take a look at the latest pictures from downtown Las Vegas when the remodeling stopped.

Let's not forget, also, the dirty atmosphere and the dirty lakes, rivers, and the oceans polluted beyond belief by our throwaway societies. The salmon have lost their edge; so, we will kill the seals in some twisted fit of recompense for our creations that killed the salmon. No one has bothered to reclaim or collect the plastic, swirling dump in the Pacific Ocean yet. Birds and fish have tried and they died. "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." (3) Deceit is the dishonor of today and tomorrow.

Perhaps you think the leading paragraphs are full of nonsense because "life isn't like that." If it isn't, then why are we occupying with an army from the United States a country in the Middle East while bombing its next-door neighbor, and threatening a third with a nuclear weapon? Why would the vice president of this country say, "So?" when a reporter asked him what he thought when 70% of our citizens think the Iraq war is wrong, was wrong, and remains wrong? We, the People, contain no reality for the vice president.

Why have we decided to demonize a certain religion, such as Islam, and call them terrorists after we betrayed and attacked them for phony reasons to set up a base in the Middle East? The current "president" did that with the help of the propagandists known as "neoconservatives." The Founders never expected us to do that. I can imagine the shock on their faces at the atomic bombs that only we have dropped on civilians as one reason to get into World War II.

To our credit, we agreed that the United Nations would hold all of us responsible to the world for never using such things again. After a while, we began destroying those bombs while Russia just let hers "rot" without protection from degradation and thieves. Now, we're starting the idea up again asking Congress to fund new plutonium facilities to make more bombs. The chain of command recently put a few on a plane and flew over the United States with it armed to the teeth. No one claims to have known. We have gone too far and we don't care.

To cap it all off, we have also polluted those Muslim peoples and our own soldiers with depleted -- a misleading adjective because the public thinks that there is no radiation there to harm them -- uranium. There is no money to correct the birth defects that result because we are using it to own the planet for ourselves; i.e., only for some of our selves. Not all of us will survive.

You ask, incredulously, "Not all of us will survive?"

"Yep, that's the plan. I am not a party to that; but, the big men are. "I have been relegated to "Cassandra-ness." I may tell the truth and be correct; but, no one is listening except to their cell phones, and other assorted electronic media to consume. Consuming only builds wealth for other men we never see or hear from personally. And, our only planet suffers pangs not seen in hundreds of thousands of years -- selfishness en masse or power run amok, destroying, profiting, pretending death is the answer to everything. No one wants to negotiate. A leading neocon and his entourage went to Pakistan saying we never need to negotiate our demands. He, too, is certain "we own the world." (4) Note the imperial We. When did diplomacy itself disappear? Declarations of evil are not proof of a difference of opinion. A meeting of the minds on various problems is how problems are solved.

In the quote at the beginning, Thomas Jefferson mentioned a lack of confidence in men who need binding down by the Constitution. No one seems to care anymore that the three branches of government were never god-like, but are mere subsidiaries of the Constitutional system that was to be protected further by the People first declaring their only real needs in the Preamble.

After that, the Founders wrote the Constitution itself and, currently, those three arrogant branches -- Congress, executive, and judicial -- are sub-systems peopled with paid public servants. "Oh! My goodness! Paid public servants! How could she demean us like that? We make more than most of you mere People!" Yes, you do, and you have better medical insurance with much higher salaries you vote in for yourselves than we do when stuck with corporate capitalism paying our mere wages, sending our jobs overseas, and downgrading our workplaces while the boardrooms and management grant themselves millions of (worthless) dollars in tribute to their brilliance. Thanks for helping them harm us.

Instead of being on our lawful side, you, our paid servants, have sided with the corporations taking funds from them to finance life styles beyond your real worth or theirs. No one cares to report; no one cares to cross any of you or them because you have been bought and sold, maybe many times over. Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting has a chart of interlocking directorates on its Web site of the ties between the Fourth Estate and other corporations. For 11 media entities, there are over 300 businesses on their boards. Is this why we never heard about the veterans recently when they staged demonstrations -- "Winter Soldier" -- on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq "War"? The Fourth Estate declined to tell us deliberately.

Yes, our progeny will suffer the consequences and yours will, too. People can take decent care of their families, having done so for two hundred years. I realize the entire time for all of us was not good because of three items unmentioned by Thomas Jefferson: one's sex, one's race, and one's position in the scheme of American rank, since we have no hereditary rankings.

Am I bitter? No. This is my critique of the wrongness passing for governance and decency since, at least, the 1980s. I quit with dignity nine jobs at nine companies over the years because the hubris and arrogance of the management, and sometimes the owners, were unbelievable towards women. I was asked to break laws.

My profession was Mechanical Designer. I designed water treatment facilities, did an as-built of a nuclear power plant; worked in steel plants and a prison needing two water systems, one for fire and another for toilets. Prisoners often flush all the toilets at once stopping water flow to the prison during a fire if there were an actual fire. I also inspected work on site.

Then, I went into bookkeeping and, after that, opened the first computer company in the area at the time. In bookkeeping, I was asked to break federal and state laws by my corporate bosses. I handed in my resignation and won all my unemployment when the state itself found that this was going on and was illegal, as I reported. I am a woman. At times, I was one woman amongst 150 drafters, all men. I learned a lot, earned a lot; and I was almost treated fairly but not always, either from management or from co-workers.

Why are women all over the planet currently unequal as humans when the ancients -- tribes, nomads, Indian, Celtic, and Islamic women -- were always equals, in councils and in reality? Women were honored as women. Men were honored as men. Somewhere in the past with the coming of autocratic religions and agriculture, women lost everything from respect to equality.

Women's rights were the last to come to the United States; the Founders failed women, and they failed the slaves stolen from their homelands along with the Indians who lost their ancient territories on this continent. All the grief and horror of the old days was worse for every race and sex but the white male one. They want to lord it over everyone today. What is this excessive sex-slave trade worldwide in children and women? This is so wrong, it boggles the mind. It gets worse and no one stops it.

Scientists have set the matter into its proper perspective: all human DNA is the same with variations; the differences are merely cosmetic based on where your ancestral group wandered around the planet and mated. We all are human. Having different foods, preferences, hair, coloring, smells, costumes, and languages are superficial choices based on locality and availabilities to exploit, to look nice, and to please one's friends and family.

Prejudice is an evil by-product of humanity's inability to tolerate differences; i.e., clannishness. The black race is the mother of us all, regardless of personal ideas. Me, I am both Welsh and Gaelic (French-German), two forms of Celtic. The contenders today for the presidency are, at last, of different races and sexes; one white woman, one black/white man, and one white man. However, they all back wars. They are all United States senators.

The Constitution, however, has been debased seriously since 2000. The current president likes to write laws of his own without the help of Congress and he says he is not bound as commander in chief to any other laws. He likes war because he feels it takes precedence over law, even if the war was, and is, totally phony. This is, obviously, an ego boost.

The Congress has removed all of our major rights beginning with habeas corpus and ending with torture on his say-so. The military, which is in the president's executive branch of government, uses everything the Constitution and the Founders said should not happen; i.e., no wars except from a real attack. Power also wants to spy on citizens in myriad ways, debasing the right to privacy in our personal lives. It's interesting that the government uses employees who are also citizens and pays them with tax monies to spy on us and their own families, too. They do it. Twisted is everywhere.

The capitalistic nature is such that it knows resources are running out; nothing is sustainable; thus, we must become an empire and steal from anyone we can so we can drive to work and the truckers can still -- almost -- keep the shelves full because diesel fuel is so expensive. Nothing we are doing is sustainable, not even taking corn from our stomachs to drive our cars. This has the strange side effect of starvation with an extra amount of gasoline required to drive just as far anyway. Schooling has failed us when this type of thinking passes for sense.

We make up stories about terrorists; label them evil and ourselves so good that we then act on our stories, killing more innocent humans while using 60% of the world's oil to run this charade of death for profits. The military uses most of the planet's oil to fly here and there and to run tanks that seem to get about 10-feet to the mile. How does the president make a profit when he is a public servant, too? Didn't he have to get rid of any corporate impediments to hold office? He told 935 lies to do this for us.

The three contenders for the White House throne have said they will continue warring. The high and mighty have a grand plan to put a huge fortified base in the Middle East under the guise of an embassy to make it easier to control the Eurasian continent. We will be left to our own devices and be much poorer for their depredations with our tax monies, if we have any left after the monstrous debt these unimpeached criminals are leaving for us, assuming they leave at all. Congress is not doing its duty for the People.

Finally, the religious have much to answer for when they eschew peace and promote war. Whether war is to repair the temple in Jerusalem to invite the Second Coming and Armageddon, to pretend the president is the head of religion and speaks for the Deity, or that it is good to kill now when "what you do to the least of these, you do to me" has been forgotten by religions. Something is seriously amiss. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and "What you do to the least of these, you do to Me" might preclude attacking people halfway around the world to bring specious governmental fiats to them such as a bogus "democracy." To cap it all off, we tell peoples whose languages we do not speak, how to be a government by our lights, not theirs. We make them look like fools.

We do not have a democracy ourselves; we have a Constitutional Republic. By pretending we are a democracy, we let ourselves off the hook and dishonor our law. Instead, people in power doing what they please or what groups decide without the consent of the People is an abasement of what we are. We have been too easily led by electronic messages from everywhere. Over-using certain phrases mesmerizes the public. Without basic discussions across the land, no sense comes out of the propaganda. The propaganda becomes the reality.

And here we are, screwed by power, profits, and propaganda with too many eyes glazed over in trance. We are wantonly killing women and children by labeling them "evil" without any indictment or trial. We execute death sentences and horrible injuries on them by a war that has been declared false. Why have we assumed the position of owner of the world? Who is like God but egotism? Not one of us merits this ascendancy, period.



1.  Lord Acton, British historian  (back)

2.  Mark 8:36, King James Bible  (back)

3.  Sir Walter Scott  (back)

4.  Noam Chomsky's essay: "We Own The World,"
http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20080101.htm  (back)


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About the Author

Carol Warner Christen on Swans (with bio)... Woman born 1939, twice married, five children, 7 grandchildren; own a goat farm, rural Oregon after years in Chicago area and Ohio; Associate of Arts, Chicago Art Institute (1 year); artist, editor, mechanical design drafting supervisor; owned two computer companies before anyone had a computer; activist; antiwar; human.



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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art14/carenc33.html
Published April 7, 2008