Labor Day 2006: Already Gone
Expanded from the 9-3-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Unless Princess Diana, JonBenet Ramsey or somesuch dies this weekend, the news will continue to be filled with laments about the sorry plight of the American worker. No raise since 1973. Health care costs rising and medical care getting harder to rustle. (Ask the Albiniano family, below.)
Economic news under the reign of His Accidency, King George the Lesser, has been so bad that one nutso-right corporate propaganda front (euphemistically called a DC think tank) schedules an annual seminar before each Labor Day to place counterspin on reality.
Gee, think of all the great jobs created and the investment opportunities now available in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast!
Alas, Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 were mere warnings of things to come. Alack, we have ignored them at our peril as a nation.
Pompous-assed America was insulted 13 years ago when we were given a taste of things to come. The World Trade Center was bombed, killing six, not long after Hurricane Andrew blew through Florida. Other countries started sending care packages. We were offended.
Given our lack of national preparedness, the squandering of our wealth on perpetual war, our obvious economic and psychological vulnerability, all it will take is one more major jolt to break the nation mentally, spiritually and legally. No more United States.
Corporate propagandists have been setting the table for this since the end of World War One. (References with the web edition of this screed.)
Over the past three decades, big money guys have poured a conservatively-estimated (and tax-deductible) $100 million a year into think tanks which roll over labor and government as they careen down the Yellow Brick Road to the very green temple of their religious icons, the corporation and its mythological free market.
Government failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if elected and appointed officials are put in power to prove government will fail. Nevada underfunds education by about 40 percent, then conservatives bitch about students unprepared to make change at McDonald's, let alone attend college.
All part of the plan. So what will bring the big jolt and what will we look like afterward? While a shipborn nuke courtesy of Osama would probably win a poll, my money is on The Big One, the California earthquake that turns Nevada into oceanfront property.
With our federal government ineptly managed and our military policing Baghdad and Kabul, hundreds of thousands will die next door. Then, corporate conservatives will have what they've always dreamed of: more disorganized new countries to exploit. (Nevada will become California's Houston.)
The template has already been marvelously laid out in Joel Garreau's 1981 masterpiece The Nine Nations of North America.
He ignored the artificial boundaries of states and nations to look at how people really live. (The same thing's happening in Iraq right now. Iraq and Kuwait, cobbled together by the imperial Brits, can't hold together and will become three or four countries very soon.)
It will be easy to break up the U.S. because taxpayers will have televised evidence that their money is going for no good to themselves. (Think black people slogging through fetid New Orleans water times several million.)
Defecting citizens will already have a negative mindset thanks to all those propaganda billions. (Remember King Ronald the Vague's "government is the problem"?)
Here in Gomorrah North, we live on the cusp of three de facto nations: MexAmerica (California south of Sacramento plus Arizona and New Mexico, then head for Panama); Ecotopia, comprised of coastal California and Canada up to Alaska; and the Intermountain West, which Garreau calls The Empty Quarter, the English translation of Saudi Arabia's mineral rich, people-thin Rub 'al Khali.
This columnist and brighter writers have long predicted that we are past due for the next Great Depression, just like those which followed the excesses of the 19th Century's Gay Nineties and the Roaring Twenties. Ironically and gloomily, a depression and all its attendant sorrow may be all that can save the nation because it will mean that a new Franklin Roosevelt will be able to come forward rather than today's tepid products mass-produced by the one-party corporate system.
So pick your poison pill. When it comes to hope for a bright future, the United States of America is already gone.
UPDATE NUMBER ONE: Don't forget the yard sale-style fundraiser for terminally ill William Albiniano, age 8, this Saturday at Dee's Used Furniture in Sun Valley. Anyone wishing to contribute items may call (775) 771-4951 or (775) 303-0606. Raffle tickets are now on sale both at Dee's and at the UPS Store at Northtowne (US 395 at North McCarran loop).You may make donations to the William Albiniano Medical Fund at any branch of Bank of America or Wells Fargo.
Last week Dear Abby got into the act, and not in a good way. Advice columnist Jeanne Phillips ran a glowing letter from the head of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation about all the health insurance they are helping make available for low-income kids in Nevada and other states. Don't tell that to the Albiniano family. William was pulled off the Nevada Checkup program and has found it impossible to get reinstated. The head of the state office refused to answer KRNV TV-4 anchor Joe Hart's questions last Wednesday.
Several weeks ago, the same guy, Charles Duarte, told me that they need more paperwork. A frustrated mom informed me last week that the only thing she could possibly send them that they don't already have is a Xerox copy of her dog. Read all about this local footnote in the ongoing collapse of the U.S. healthcare system and stay tuned for updates right here.
UPDATE, PART DEUX. Readers of last Sunday's Barbwire got an absolutely accurate forecast about how Charter Communications would pull out all legal stops to keep AT&T from providing cable TV competition in these parts. If you want to keep up to speed on how the high-speed fiber game is being played locally and nationally, click here and get on our mailing list.
MORAL OBTUSENESS DEPT. Got an e-mail from a conservative moonhowler who closed his missive with "happy (non-union) Labor Day to you! :)"
I informed him that a non-union Labor Day means you pull an eight-hour shift on Monday because without unions, there would be nonesuch no Labor Day weekend or any other weekend.
Or even an eight-hour day, for that matter.
So have a happy non-laborious Labor Day weekend and hoist a cold one to all the people who worked, bled and died to give it to you.
Be well. Raise hell.
LABOR LEADERS: Wild West mentality lingers in Nevada
LABOR DAY 2006 Guest Editorial, Reno Gazette-Journal, 9-4-2006
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.
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
BARBWIRE: We have met the enemy and he is us, 5-29-2005
BARBWIRE: Payback Time, 8-7-2005
BARBWIRE: Getting Focused, 8-14-2005
BARBWIRE: Deadly Spin in the oil slicks of New Orleans, 9-4-2005
BARBWIRE: Four more years? 9-11-2005
BARBWIRE: Amoral Moralists, 9-18-2005
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Andrew Barbano is a 37-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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