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 Ignore any exceptions to this guideline and do not cite any reports that show which nuclear weapons contractors lobby and contribute to which politicians.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
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation
Sheldon Richman
Let the Refugees In
James Anderson
Reframing Black Friday: an Imperative for Déclassé Intellectuals
Simon Bowring
UN Climate Talks 2009: a Merger of Interest and Indifference
Ron Jacobs
Rosa Luxembourg–From Street Organizer to Street Name
Aidan O'Brien
Same-Sex Sellout in Ireland
David Stocker
Report from the Frontline of Resistance in America
Patrick Bond
China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa, as BRICS Sink Fast
James A Haught
The Values of Jesus
Binoy Kampmark
British Austerity: Cutting One’s Own Backyard
Ed Rampell
45 Years: A Rumination on Aging
Charles R. Larson
Chronicle of Sex Reassignment Surgery: Juliet Jacques’s “Trans: a Memoir”
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
CounterPunch’s Favorite Films
November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving
Joseph Grosso
The Enduring Tragedy: Guatemala’s Bloody Farce