Saturday, February 6, 2010

The lynch-mob mentality

The lynch-mob mentality By Glenn Greenwald

"A very long time ago, I would be baffled when I'd read about things like the Salem witch hunts. How could so many people be collectively worked up into that level of irrational frenzy, where they cheered for people's torturous death as "witches" without any real due process or meaningful evidence? But all one has to do is look at our current Terrorism debates and it's easy to see how things like that happen. ..."

Glenn Greenwald is one of our better thinker/writers who really deserves a lot of credit and respect for his stands on issues such as this.

How to Get Our Democracy Back By Lawrence Lessig

"For Obama once spoke for the anger that has now boiled over in even the blue state Massachusetts--that our government is corrupt; that fundamental change is needed. As he told us, both parties had allowed "lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the system." And "unless we're willing to challenge [that] broken system...nothing else is going to change." "The reason" Obama said he was "running for president [was] to challenge that system." For "if we're not willing to take up that fight, then real change--change that will make a lasting difference in the lives of ordinary Americans--will keep getting blocked by the defenders of the status quo."

This administration has not "taken up that fight." Instead, it has stepped down from the high ground the president occupied on January 20, 2009, and played a political game no different from the one George W. Bush played, or Bill Clinton before him. Obama has accepted the power of the "defenders of the status quo" and simply negotiated with them. "Audacity" fits nothing on the list of last year's activity, save the suggestion that this is the administration the candidate had promised.

Maybe this was his plan all along. It was not what he said. And by ignoring what he promised, and by doing what he attacked ("too many times, after the election is over, and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and the special interests move in"), Obama will leave the presidency, whether in 2013 or 2017, with Washington essentially intact and the movement he inspired betrayed.


At the center of our government lies a bankrupt institution: Congress. Not financially bankrupt, at least not yet, but politically bankrupt.


But consistently and increasingly over the past decade, faith in Congress has collapsed--slowly, and then all at once. Today it is at a record low. Just 45 percent of Americans have "trust and confidence" in Congress; just 25 percent approve of how Congress is handling its job. A higher percentage of Americans likely supported the British Crown at the time of the Revolution than support our Congress today. "

Here's where the author points a huge finger at Congress, but backs away from mentioning AIPAC's influence, yet AIPAC holds great sway over who gets into Congress, as has been adequately documented by others.

You could say "that's only foreign policy", but foreign policy is the stage on which we all ultimately exist on. The military invasion of the Middle East didn't happen because you or I wanted it. Heck, most people didn't even know the mission: to transform that part of the world into subservience, but it was, and remains that to this day. It's not so much a question of where the next outbreak will occur (Iran?), but when.

Why do good thinkers/writers consistently ignore this obvious connection when they are so close?

Please read the full article though, it is absolutely outstanding and, other then this key omission, really nails the problem.

Update I: Here's Bill Moyer's interview with the author


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