Now That We Are Saved


We are saved —so our politicians tell us —from a plunge off the fiscal cliff. In all reports, however, it is mentioned that President Obama settled for a slice of what he claimed to be after, which was to raise taxes on those whose income is more than a $quarter million annually. Instead, the Republican bravehearts kept that rapacious goal at bay and made certain that taxes would only increase for those making more than $400,000 per year. Brilliant!

According to media reports, the only actual spending cuts contemplated were those that would affect luxuries for the average person, such as Social Security benefits or medical care for the elderly or disabled. That’s the spirit, boys!

It’s important that the American media avoid all mention of the Pentagon budget and how each $billion cut there would free enough funds to create a net gain of thousands of jobs. Instead, it’s crucial to take all Pentagon claims without factchecking, and convince the American people that the slightest cut to DOD would slash jobs wholesale and strip body armor off US troops and leave them driving used Ford Festivas into combat. Framing any threat to Pentagon funding as seditious is key.

After all, the Pentagon budgets more than $4 billion each year just for publicity, so you can just print what they send you, write what they say to you, and in fact seek their expertise when it comes to responding to any conflict anywhere on Earth. Don’t talk to those who might research and understand other forms of power, you know, the ones who might know about how the Velvet Revolution happened across the Warsaw Pact, the Colored Revolutions, or Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to deposing Hosni Mubarak, the CIA and Pentagon utterly failed to see any of it coming because that is a different sort of force, so you need to avoid analysts who might disagree with the Pentagon approach and conclusions so you don’t confuse anyone.

Do not repeat not mention that the nuclear arsenal, for instance, provides the US with no usable defensive options and above all avoid any TV, radio, or writing that calculates the projected increases of some $600 billion in upgrading those nukes over the next decade. This is not the time to question the value in threatening the unthinkable and certainly not the time to release the figures on what some say could be saved by starting to mothball these weapons. Ignore any exceptions to this guideline and do not cite any reports that show which nuclear weapons contractors lobby and contribute to which politicians.

Thank you, politicians and mainstream corporate media, for your careful framing of these Big Issues so that we, the dumb apathetic citizenry, can proceed with our credit card shopping in anticipation of the next national holiday.

Don’t we all gain 10 lbs. each MLK Day?

Tom H. Hastings directs PeaceVoice.



Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the Conflict Resolution Department at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice

Weekend Edition
October 2-4, 2015
Henry Giroux
Murder, USA: Why Politicians Have Blood on Their Hands
Jennifer Loewenstein
Heading Toward a Collision: Syria, Saudi Arabia and Regional Proxy Wars
John Pilger
Wikileaks vs. the Empire: the Revolutionary Act of Telling the Truth
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Lightning War in Syria
Gary Leupp
A Useful Prep-Sheet on Syria for Media Propagandists
Jeffrey St. Clair
Pesticides, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Acceptable Death
Joshua Frank
The Need to Oppose All Foreign Intervention in Syria
Lawrence Ware – Paul Buhle
Insurrectional Black Power: CLR James on Race and Class
Oliver Tickell
Jeremy Corbyn’s Heroic Refusal to be a Nuclear Mass Murderer
Helen Yaffe
Che’s Economist: Remembering Jorge Risquet
Mark Hand
‘Rape Rooms’: How West Virginia Women Paid Off Coal Company Debts
Yves Engler
War Crimes in the Dark: Inside Canada’s Special Forces
Arno J. Mayer
Israel: the Wages of Hubris and Violence
W. T. Whitney
Cuban Government Describes Devastating Effects of U. S. Economic Blockade
Brian Cloughley
The US-NATO Alliance Destroyed Libya, Where Next?
Barry Lando
Syria: Obama’s Bay of Pigs?
Karl Grossman
The Politics of Lyme Disease
Andre Vltchek
Southeast Asia “Forgets” About Western Terror
Jose Martinez
American Violence: Umpqua is “Routine”?
Vijay Prashad
Russian Gambit, Syrian Dilemma
Sam Smith
Why the Democrats are in Such a Mess
Uri Avnery
Nasser and Me
Andrew Levine
The Saints March In: The Donald and the Pope
Arun Gupta
The Refugee Crisis in America
Michael Welton
Junior Partner of Empire: Why Canada’s Foreign Policy Isn’t What You Think
Lara Santoro
Terror as Method: a Journalist’s Search for Truth in Rwanda
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Elections and Verbal Vomit
Dan Glazebrook
Refugees Don’t Cause Fascism, Mr. Timmermann – You Do
Victor Grossman
Blood Moon Over Germany
Patrick Bond
Can World’s Worst Case of Inequality be Fixed by Pikettian Posturing?
Pete Dolack
Earning a Profit from Global Warming
B. R. Gowani
Was Gandhi Averse to Climax? A Psycho-Sexual Assessment of the Mahatma
Tom H. Hastings
Another Mass Murder
Anne Petermann
Activists Arrested at ArborGen GE Trees World Headquarters
Ben Debney
Zombies on a Runaway Train
Franklin Lamb
Confronting ‘Looting to Order’ and ‘Cultural Racketeering’ in Syria
Carl Finamore
Coming to San Francisco? Cra$h at My Pad
Ron Jacobs
Standing Naked: Bob Dylan and Jesus
Missy Comley Beattie
What Might Does To Right
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi Jayanti, Gandhi’s Dream
Raouf Halaby
A Week of Juxtapositions
Louis Proyect
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Iran
Christopher Washburn
Skeptik’s Lexicon
Charles R. Larson
Indonesia: Robbed, Raped, Abused
David Yearsley
Death Songs