By Ban Tasers
"I'm an unapologetic lefty, and what I'm pissed about is the war."
(-Steve Earle, outlaw-singer)

"In December, President Obama signed legislation to extend hundreds of billions of dollars in Bush tax cuts, benefiting the wealthiest Americans. Last week, Obama agreed to billions of dollars in cuts that will impose the greatest burden on the poorest Americans. And now, virtually everyone in Washington believes, the President is about to embark on a path that will ultimately lead to some type of reductions in Social Security, Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits under the banner of "reform." Tax cuts for the rich -- budget cuts for the poor -- 'reform' of the Democratic Party's signature safety net programs -- a continuation of Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies, and a new Middle East war, launched without Congressional approval. That's quite a legacy combination for a Democratic President."
(-Glenn Greenwald)

" The idea of class struggle and class conflict is foreign to American culture. We are all brought up to think we are one big, happy family."
( -Howard Zinn)

"A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point."
(-Chris Hedges)

"When what is profitable turns out to be indecent or inhuman, you can not expect shame to work on them. No matter how much you distrust or hate corporations, you still understand that our social contracts extend to stopping them from doing what they would else-wise, like to do, in the pursuit of profits. To stop them from hurting us and helping themselves, we know that they will not regulate themselves, and it would be unnatural for them to do so. They are not people, for corporations seeking profits, regardless of the human costs it is rational, it is business, and watching out for the humans in that equation... that is what governments are for"
(-Rachel Maddow)

"Why is it that when we talk about the budget the only thing we can talk about is throwing hundreds of thousands of children off of Head Start or cutting back substantially on Pell grants. Why don't we do away with corporate loopholes or tax breaks for millionaires?"
(-Bernie Sanders)

"[The treatment of Bradley Manning] violates his person and his liberty without due process of law ... it administers cruel and unusual punishment of a sort that cannot be constitutionally inflicted even upon someone convicted of terrible offenses, not to mention someone merely accused of such offenses."
(– Lawrence Tribe, Barack Obama's constitutional law professor at Harvard)

"President Obama was once a professor of constitutional law, and entered the national stage as an eloquent moral leader. The question now, however, is whether his conduct as commander in chief meets fundamental standards of decency."
(– open letter about Bradley Manning from 250 prominent U.S. professors)

"Why, if we hadn't elected Obama we might have had a president who refused to roll back taxes on the wealthy, who refused to establish a windfall profits tax on oil companies, who refused to investigate activities carried out by telecom companies who illegally helped the government tap our phones, and who continued to tap phones without a warrant, who would have turned his back on Miranda, who would refuse to investigate any of the Bush Admin. lies, incompetence, corruption or torture, who would support anti-democratic, murderous coup regimes in Central America, who might refuse to restore Habeas Corpus, who would have left Guantanamo open indefinitely and maintain that its inmates had no rights at all, who might have continued extraordinary rendition and torture, who might have fought to keep Dick Cheney's remarks to Plame investigators secret, who would have done nothing of substance to rein in Wall St., who would have continued to issue signing statements, who might have continued to delay investigations of CIA torture and even investigate those who protest that torture, who would have traded away the Public Option even while saying he was in favor of it, who would have expanded the war in Afghanistan, who would have opened "vast expanses" of Atlantic seaboard, Gulf of Mexico and Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, who would have 'put politics before science' and at first minimized the BP oil spill and then might have claimed that there was practically no oil left and that "the microbes ate it!", who might have continually filed briefs in favor of large corporate polluters, who might have even been in favor of whale hunting, who might have used cluster bombs on civilians in Yemen, who might have refused to investigate Bush's political firings of US Attorneys, why we might even have a president who would appoint a bunch of right wing psychopaths to the Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and try to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class while allowing Wall St. Banks, the filthy rich and military corporations to continue plundering our economy, or who might try to institute policies which would effectively shut down the internet.

But wait…no. That's what Obama actually did do..."

"The fact is that Tyner was, himself, a radical firebrand, and a charismatic front man, who sang fervent pleas from the stage, urging people to rise up against the government, and to reject the constraints, and constrictions, of mainstream culture. Let me put it as simply as I can: I was probably even more deeply influenced by Tyner’s thought and practice than he was by my own, and — with the possible exception of Thompson — so was the rest of the band."
(- John Sinclair, on the soulful MC5 vocalist; Rob Tyner)

"I or my staff have been shuffled between the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Office of Secretary Gates. I was initially told that I would need Pfc. Manning's approval in order to meet with him. When Pfc. Manning indicated his desire to meet with me, I was belatedly informed that the meeting could only take place if it was recorded because of a Monitoring Order imposed by the military's Special Courts-Martial Convening Authority on September 16, 2010, which was convened for the case. Confidentiality is required, however, to achieve the candor that is necessary to perform the oversight functions with which I am tasked as a Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I was also told that I could be subpoenaed to testify about the contents of my conversation with Pfc. Manning.

This is a clear subversion of the constitutionally protected oversight process and it severely undermines the rights of any Member of Congress seeking to gather information on the conditions of a detainee in US custody.

Though he has been held in custody since July 29, 2010, Pfc. Manning has not been convicted of any crime. His lawyer reports that he continues to be held in isolation 23 hours a day. He was also forced to strip naked at night and to stand at attention during roll call in front of other prisoners. The conditions of his treatment may violate his right to be protected from 'cruel and unusual punishment,' and punishment without trial as enshrined in the 8th and 5th Amendments of the Constitution.

We now hear that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Mendez, was denied a private meeting with Pfc. Manning in order to determine whether the conditions of Manning's confinement amount to torture. The very existence of a UN Special Rapporteur on torture investigation speaks volumes about the conditions of his treatment.

The continued delays I have experienced amount to a subversion of Pfc. Manning's legal rights as well as my own rights and obligations as a Member of Congress to conduct oversight. The whole world is now watching.

What is going on with Secretary Gates and the Department of Defense with respect to Pfc. Manning's treatment is more consistent with Kafka than the US Constitution. I will not cease in my efforts to determine whether or not the conditions under which he has been held constitute torture."
(-Dennis Kucinich)
Man, each day, more and more of our most basic freedoms are being stolen from us, and few of us seem to notice, or care. The neo-con oligarchy lied us into five wars, did away with human rights, and Habeas Corpus, and the Fourth Amendment. The consolidated media has banned, excluded, blacklisted all anti-war and progressive voices from public debate. Remember when bands like Lords Of The New Church, the Exploited, Discharge, and Dead Kennedys had actual record deals? If Green Day is anti-war, you'd hardly know it, since Obama took office. They're the cheerful corporate face of punk, and their Beatles and the Alarm influenced radio anthem is as vague as a feel-good, say-nothin' Obama speech. We need to hear from confrontational voices, not just the friendly, obliging, appeasing, corporate-brand bands, more concerned with cross-over merchandising deals, than promoting vital messages of conscience. The U.S. government spends more than $1 trillion a year on empire. Obama's cutting spending on the elderly, aid to the poor, and Medicare to reinvest in endless war, torture programs, and spying on the American population. As Medea Benjamin, from Code Pink, says, you wouldn't grasp the enormity of the U.S.'s commitment to militarism, if you listened to its politicians. Remarking last week on the deal he struck that slashes $38.5 billion in federal spending, Obama made like he was doing something responsible for ordinary Americans, rather than diverting all the tuition and health care and social safety net funds to the oil companies, police state, and to permanently maintaining the bloody occupations, all while giving still more tax breaks(!!!) to the top one percent wealthiest individuals, and war profiteering corporations like G.E., Halliburton, and Lockheed Martin. This guy's more rightwing than the last one. TV watchers do not understand the urgent need to organize effective third parties, and to get involved at a local level. The "American Idol" audience still thinks the Democrats are somehow less fascist, than the Republicans, when it is painfully obvious by now, that Obama is no less a tool of the far right corporatists, and intelligence agencies, as the bullshit blowhards in the big-media. Even his very own Constitutional Law professor has come out in opposition of his shameful abuse of alledged whistle-blower, Bradley Manning, along with thousands of other scholars, law experts, and human rights watchdogs, including, Amnesty Intenational, Dennis Kucinich, Daniel Ellsberg, Chris Hedges, and the A.C.L.U.! GIVE UP ON THE REPUBLIC-RATS! Both parties are irretrievably corrupt wings of the endless war-party. The stand-up comic, Bill Hicks and the much maligned Tim Yo from "Maximum Rocknroll", both warned us we were under siege by the corpoate monopolies and their marketing wonks and focus groups. Tim suggested we discourage our punk friends from entering in to binding business contracts with the global elite, and to boycott music groups and all products Nike swooshed in Chinese sweatshops. Bill urged people in marketing to kill themselves. Working in public relations nowadays is just like working for the spy apparatus. Often, literally. You lie for a living. Green Day didn't like Tim Yo, because Green Day got swooshed. Barcoded. Micro-chipped. Video-gamed. Broadway-played. Sports-drank. "Friended." I hope they had the time of their life. Same thing happened to loads of grunge people. Eddie Vedder for Target.

Most rational people seem to recognize that the Fox fraudcasting network pounds big lies into the consciousness of racist, white bread America 24/7, but the entire big media is pretty much the public relations arm of the DEATH MACHINE. They cover-up war crimes committed by the U.S., Israel, and the puppet dictatorships, they cover up the white collar crimes of Wall Street, and big corporations like Monsanto, B.P., Blackwater, etc., and demonize immigrants, Muslims, the working poor, teachers, women's rights groups, enviornmental activists, unions, and the last few dwindling liberal institutions-like Public Radio, Planned Parenthood, and the A.C.L.U. The corporate media just hammers us, night and day, with lies about the Japanese nucleur catastrophe, the covered-up oil spill in the Gulf and the suspicious profiteering of disaster capitalist spillionaires. They dismiss the untidy facts surrounding 9/11. They seldom mention the ongoing persecution of solidarity and peace activists under this supposedly liberal Democrat in the White House. The ballot boxes are still manufactured by the rightwing corporation, Premiere-formerly known as Diebold. Joe Biden seldom emphasizes his sworn alleiegence to the Zionist Isreali regime, in the fly-over states. Most Americans don't even know how brutal the Israeli occupation of Palestine is, because our media is so tightly controlled by the military industrial complex. Check out the, If Americans Knew Dot Org website. Obama and Netanyahu are invading Muslim nation, after Muslim nation, and U.S. tax payers are so involved in their own gratuitous consumption, they rarely give much thought to the idea of a government that holds people indefinitely with no charges, tortures, and sexually fondles ticket buying travellers, still insisting that eleven cave dwelling Ay-rabs, "with box-cutters", blew up all those buildings, including the one that no plane ever hit. Shouldn't folks be having grown-up discussions about these concerns, in a time like this? But no, we prefer to pick our "favorites" on bullshit TV talent contests and jive-ass unreality shows, and social networking sites. The two-tiered justice system tasers and imprisons, fines and probations, us poor folks ("we, the people..") for any petty infraction, but Wall Street's lawless billionaires, oil companies, intelligence operatives, and private mercenary war criminals can clearly, do whatever they want, with zero consequences. Obama even pressured Spain into dropping it's investigation of Bush era torturers. So much for "change we can believe in".

That guy was groomed all his life to acquiese to the power structure. His folks were CIA, much like Bush. He's gotten non-stop greenlights from the establishment, unimaginable rewards, for his accomodating personality, above average intelligence, and speech making abilities. He still talks in the cadences of a Southern preacher, even while he slashes funding for impoverished old folks heat in the winter, retirement pensions, Headstart programs, tuitions, housing for the poor, etc. He inhabits a bubble, where he must behave like Nixon-On-Steroids to enjoy all those visits from Paul McCartney and other dignataries, and Motown celebrities. Celebrity is the Religion of the druggy pharmacertical, electronic-media, consumer-tranced, middle class. "Belonging", near fame. I know some "famous" people and observe others going batshit crazy to get near them, as if they have some healing powers. A guy who got to make an album, before there were just three entertainment conglomerates, doesn't nessacarily, possess any Jesus Magic, but even the lamest band that appeared on "120 Minutes", or "Headbangers Balls", even once, twenty-five years ago, is still revered as an important member of the "Class Of Fame". "FAME!" Everything is "Glee", now, ESPECIALLY endless war. Nichole Simpson, or Rikki Rachtman, they're sippin' free champagne, pitchin' reality shows, continuing to "brand" themselves. Netanyahu wanted to meet with Bieber, in Israel. Fad haircuts and shooting Arab children, it's all part of the smile button consumerist culture. Sibel Edmonds points out how two hundred some social climbers and academics were present, the day that anti-war activist, Ray McGoven, was recently roughed-up, by Hillary Clinton's goon-squad, for his silent, Gandhi-like protest of turning his back to her, while giving a peace sign, and the truly disturbing part, was not how this hardened until nearly soulless, power monger, Clinton, could give empty lip service to the right of Egyptians to peacefully dissent, against the terrifying reign of her "family friend", Mubarek. The really scary part is how none of those present for her hollow rap, would risk losing their "belong" card, by even gasping out loud...Not even as they witnessed four thugs beating up an elderly man, as he meekly cried out, "Is This America???" I think it's because we all see cops arresting poor people who've committed no crime, most everyday, and if you even make eye contact with their cop buddies, while they push around the poor, you will be arrested, too. Cops kill unarmed civilians and their unions immediately elect them "cop of the year", while the overpaid hard-ons of talk radio, go into full combat mode, ferociously attacking their victims, character assassinating the dead, or brutalized, for somehow not adequetely, "respecting the badge, or robe, or uniform". SWOOSH!

Well-intentioned middle classers always tell you to go read a list of books, AS IF, we can all just drive our car to Borders, and purchase a stack of thirty dollar books. If you own an alternative publishing company, please consider donating copies of your books to public libraries, because that is one of the first things slashed by municipal budget cuts-library funds. The far right makes sure that plenty of Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter books make it to each and every public library in Hayseed, U.S.A., but how often, do you suppose one of these granola crunchy, nineties rockstars donates a stack of Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal books, to even the trendiest, college library, in San Francisco? Not often enough, my friends. That's why I try to always integrate links into my over-caffeinated rants for undeground websites, to encourage you to do your own research, and find out more, on your own, without assuming you can just go buy a bunch of Howard Zinn videos. Not everybody has a credit-card, John Cusack! Anyhow, Obama's cut Pell grants, the programs for community health care, for low income housing and emergency heat in the winter for moderate income families. The good cop/bad cop ping-pong game in the big-media, the false left versus right paradigm, dupes folks into believing they should ADVISE Obama on how to hold corporate America accountable, how to stop the wars, how to defend seniors, and the poor, AS IF he even faintly wants to...Sadly, he DOES NOT STAND WITH "WE, THE PEOPLE". He asks for NOTHING from big business, except the billion dollars(!) he wants to raise for his next campaign, his budget gives more tax breaks to Bush cronies and billionaires, he does not even remotely suggest closing the torture-camps, ending the wars, or pulling the porno-imaging screeners out of our air-ports, to save trillions, does he? He is happy to bail-out the corporate criminals, the torture lawyers, the gargantuan domestic spying apparatus, he shovels more billions upwards, and totally pillages the middle-class and poor people's desperately-needed funds for schools, low-income housing, and health-care for the elderly. It's absolutely criminal, and the people in the media-class have an ethical obligation to underscore, educate, and even help protest this, but they are like high-schoolers, still in love with popular kid, Obama, yearning to sit at the jock table in the cafeteria. SWOOSHED! I will not vote for a torturer. Give me a candidate, a leader...not an ass-kissing empty-suit. Be the media, organize third parties, take action to end the wars, restore the Geneva Conventions, stop torture, and repeal the Patriot Act suspension of our Bill Of Rights. Obama was just a marketing hoax. Bush 2.0. If you're religious, get down on your knees and pray we don't get SWOOSHED again.