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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Caught in Bush's Bad Movie My Flag Held Hostage

My Flag Held Hostage

by PHILIP FARRUGGIO

After viewing President Bush’s State of the Union last night it makes one realize that life can imitate film. In Barry Levinson’s 1997 satire “Wag the Dog”, one sees how the “powers that be” can manufacture a crisis to mask domestic problems- carrying a nation right into a war. In Norman Jewison’s chilling 1975 “futuristic” (yeah right) “Rollerball”, one sees how the corporate controlled state can destroy the “individual”, and what once was “history”, to suit their agenda. Finally, in Harold Becker’s 1996 “City Hall”, the mayor of NYC, played by Al Pacino, gives the most rousing speech this writer has ever heard, in fantasy or in reality. Pacino’s Mayor Pappas, attending the church service for a young black boy killed innocently during a “cop and robbers” shootout, bellows to the congregation about how “this city should be a Palace”…. where a society melds together in safety and harmony.

They have succeeded in stripping me of “my flag”. They, the common man and woman, influenced by the political bosses through the corporate owned and controlled media, have forced me into “hiding” my flag. I no longer display it in my windows, my lawn, my car, or on my lapel. “They” have made it “their flag”, representing a different America than the one I have come to love and cherish. To paraphrase Mayor Pappas, they have taken over “my palace’!

My flag did not wave from the frigates and the aircraft that have bombed away innocent lives these many decades since the “Big One”. My flag did not wave from the corporate offshore factories that exploited (exploit) the cheap labor pools throughout the underdeveloped world- much to the detriment of my neighbors here, now forced to become part time salesclerks wearing foolish high school nameplates. My flag will not be there on those troop transports taking America’s finest low and middle income youth to destroy some country ( and its own finest youth) in the name of some mega mergered oil conglomerate! Finally, it is not “my flag” that incites the ever increasing terrorist populations throughout the world with what it has come to represent. All that hype and spin about “their flag” symbolizing freedom and democracy is just that. “My flag” represents those noble axioms- “their flag”, the confederate one used by the political and military- industrial bosses- it represents nothing but “profits over people”!!

Before condemning me for my principles, you out there who waves and wears “their flag’, pause for a few minutes. Take five. Go to the library, the “public” library that “they” wish to privatize, and get yourself some of the many documentary films of WWII. Check out the ones about Germany in the 30’s and early 40’s. Look at those myriads of flags seemingly all over the place. Check out the powerful rantings and ravings of the paperhanger. See how the masses “Zig Heiled” so “mesmorizingly obedient” to their Fatherland and their flag. Whoever said “history repeats itself” was a genius.

Philip A Farruggio is a baby boomer Brooklyn NY born, bred and educated (Brooklyn College ’74). He can be reached at brooklynphilly@aol.com