Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Venceremos



I am happy for everything he accomplished in life. What I will most miss about him are his colorful speeches. He was a brilliant speaker who could deliver a two hour speech without even glancing at notes. As an American I was fascinated to see a Latin American leader speak about the empire and the history of Latin America. He spoke in an illuminating manner about issues which American media outlets rarely discussed.

Contrary to how he may be depicted in the vast majority of the American media outlets, Hugo Chavez was not anti-American. One of the most quotable things he ever said was, "The U.S. is a great country, and it will always be a great country, but there will come a day when it will no longer be an empire, and the driving force of a hegemonic project. "

To refer to Latin American leaders such as Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa who assert their countries' soveriegnty as anti-American is like referring to black people who assert their civil rights as anti-white.

Among his accomplishments was to assert Venezuelan control over Venezuelan oil resources, an important achievement for any country, to control its own resources. He also diversified the client base for Venezuelan oil. Apart from this, unlike his American detractors who are obsessed with perpetuating their radical oil dependence, he was aware that an oil rich country cannot transform itself without diversifying its economy. He invested in education and provided free healthcare to all of Venezuela's citizens. He also made a commitment to achieving nutritional self-sufficiency within his country.

Yet, perhaps his greatest accomplishment is not any of the foregoing, but the fact that like other men who came before him such as Jesus, Buddha, Ghandi, King, X, Cesar Chavez, etc., he changed the consciousness of the world he lived in. He demonstrated that it is possible to create revolution and challenge the Anglo-Saxon hegemonists of the North American continent.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Do The Harlem Shake...Con Los Terroristas!



This is a compilation video which traces the evolution of the meme and features some of the best Harlem Shake videos. This meme has become an immense viral phenomenon, with some people loving it, some people hating it, and many others left bewildered.

Perhaps several lines from the Herman Hesse novel, Steppenwolf, can help explain the appeal of what appears to be a collective catharsis or a trance in which the music takes over the mind and the body and everybody joins together in uninhibited expression and lets go. Hesse wrote about "the intoxication of a general festivity, the mysterious merging of the personality in the mass, the mystic union of joy," as well as, "I myself breathed the sweet intoxication of a common dream and of music and rhythm."

For me, the most astonishing aspect of the viral phenomenon is the phrase which is blurted out in a high pitched voice at the very outset of the song and repeated within the first thirty seconds, "Con los terroristas!" As well as the fact that while there has been much discussion about the Harlem Shake phenomenon, very little of it has been about this phrase or its meaning. Among the most prominent search results regarding this meme, Know Your Meme, The Huffington Post, and CBS news don't even mention it. The Fader has a very brief discussion regarding it, but does not discuss its meaning. Baauer is apparently not discussing it either.

Is the monolingualism of Americans so bad that dozens of millions of people have viewed these videos, and thousands have particpated in the making of them, including universities, large companies such as Pepsi, media organizations such as Facebook, Anderson Live, The Jimmy Fallon Show, as well as the army, navy, and marines, without realizing the meaning of the expression, "Con los terroristas?"

Is it not highly ironic that American military personnel who are engaged in a "war on terrorism" are frolicking about with wild abandon to a song which prominently features the expression, "Con los terroristas?" Does it not contradict their stated objective of combatting terrorism and undermine the image of the armed forces which top military commanders, including the President himself, would like to project?

Is it not ironic that media outlets who sold Americans on the logic of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars as a means to combat and prevent terrorism completely overlook this phrase in their discussions of the meme?

Out of the hundreds of thousands of words in the Spanish language, and millions of words in other languages, Baauer chose to use a sample which when translated to English means, "With the terrorists!" To further consider how subversive the use of this sample is, imagine a club full of people who when this song comes on, cheer and chant the phrase, "Con los terroristas!" then proceed to dance their brains and asses off. Or a free outdoor festival which features djs in which this song gets played, and a chorus of thousands of people bellows out, "Con los terroristas!" after which the crowd goes crazy.

While Americans may be limited by their monolingualism, the rest of the world is less so. Millions of Americans may not know what the meaning of the phrase is, but people throughout the rest of the world may find themselves reveling in a symbolic yet conscious act of subversion and defiance against the policies of the United States, and its President, who for many is barely distinguishable from the terrorists which he claims to be combatting and freeing the world of, due to his authorization of drone strikes which kill innocent civilians including women, children, and first responders who were merely assisting victims of the initial strike.

Some people may suggest that the words are meaningless. Yet a google search for "Which artist did Baauer sample on the Harlem Shake," demonstrates that people in fact attribute a lot of importance to words. The search turns up numerous discussions and links regarding the line, "Do the Harlem Shake, " attributed to Jayson Musson, which is delivered in a low, nearly imperceptible tone, whereas the line, "Con los terroristas" is high pitched and nearly impossible to miss. Some of these discussions go so far as to suggest that the Baauer song is about graffitti or that Jayson Musson himself, is the reason why people are dancing to The Harlem Shake.

I believe in, and have observed on occassion, the subconscious expression of sexual desire, and similarly believe in the subconscious expression of rebellion. I find it an intriguing possibility that the Harlem Shake viral phenomenon is a manifestation of a massive subconscious rebellion against the so called war on terrorism as articulated, constructed, and executed by the American government, which has led to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have cost hundreds of thousands of lives, trilliions of dollars, and have led the American government to legally justify physical torture and the extrajudicial execution of American citizens.

In an article titled, The Massacre of the Afghan 17 and the Obama Cover-Up, whose topic was selected as the 23rd most censored story by Project Censored for 2012, author James Petras discusses the implausibility of the official U.S. government story that a single deranged gunmen, Robert Bales, acted alone in the massacre of 17 Afghan villagers in Kandahar province on March 11, 2012, and the possibility that Barack Obama has conspired with the US military command to cover up the facts and hide the true nature of the war in Afghanistan.

Regarding the American troops, Petras writes, "They are engaged in a long, losing war where every dead US soldier is accompanied by scores who are maimed, blinded and mentally traumatized. In Obama's war, the wounded are patched up and recycled back into the same meat grinder in an increasingly hostile environment."

As to Obama's motivations for participating in the cover-up, Petras writes, "Obama has to conspire with the Pentagon in covering up this mass murder, defending the officers in charge of these 'pacified' villages, because there are no alternatives, no back-ups, no new recruits eager to engage in the 12th year of war in Afghanistan.There are only the re-cycled killers, willing to pursue their career in 'Special Forces' involving 'kill and destroy' operations...President Obama cannot allow an entire garrison, including their commanding officer to be put on trial for the war crimes in this massacre. Holding anyone, besides the hapless Sgt. Bales accountable for the massacre would incite a general rebellion within the armed forces."

Petras ends the article by writing, "Clearly prolonged colonial wars cannot be sustained through the consent of the citizens and such wars cannot be prosecuted according to military manuals and the Geneva Conventions. At this point, only Presidential 'rule by decree' can secure compliance of the citizens at home and only massacres and cover-ups can sustain the colonial occupations abroad. But these are desperate and temporary: When the extreme measures have run their course there will be nothing to fall back on and nothing can save the president of a collapsing empire from the revolt of its citizens and soldiers."

Since September 11th, 2001, I have been of the conviction that war as a response to terrorism is illogical and unjustifiable. It is a point of view that is rarely expressed in traditional media outlets. I believe it is a conclusion which Americans must collectively arrive at if we are to ascend above the military, economic, and moral quagmire we find ourselves in.

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Salvemos A Mexico



Politicians have the ability to speak positively and confidently about anything, even if the situation is dire. Recently, I watched the Mexican presidential debate on estamosdelachingada.com, which roughly translates to wearefucked.com, and the candidate for the party(PAN) which has turned Mexico into the decapitation capital of the world spoke about creating, security, peace, and economic prosperity. Do such people deserve reelection? 



According to UNESCO statistics, 28% of Mexicans of high school age, actually attend high school. Do the people(PAN and PRI) who have allowed this situation to persist for generations deserve reelection? Is it not farcical for a country to pretend to make strides towards becoming a developed country if 72% of its high school age population does not attend high school? Mexico also has the lowest economic growth in Latin America. 



The leftist candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, aka AMLO, who can make a credible claim to actually having won the election of 2006, told a story-drawing a parallel to how the PRI candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, is backed by television giant Televisa-about how after Mexico lost half of its territory to the U.S., Santa Ana fled to Colombia, yet the Mexican elites brought him back and installed him as President. They told him, "Don't worry. We own all the newspapers in Mexico City. We control public opinion."

Numerous countries in Latin America have elected leftist presidents who have given real hope to their populations, created real change, and asserted their country's sovereignty. It will be sad to see Mexico stay behind this wave of change for another six years with a government subservient to the U.S. , if either the PAN or PRI candidate wins.

Unfortunately, AMLO is a horrible debater in my estimation; half the time he barely answers the question and returns to his overall message about how Mexico is ruled by elites, and that Mexico must opt for real change. Perhaps the core of his success lies with his campaigning and not debating. He is surging in the polls. 

Hopefully, the wave of change that has swept Latin America will reach Mexico in 2012, the year of the Mayan prophecy. Otherwise, to echo the sentiments of the webpage creator, "Estamos de la chingada!" 



The next debate is June 10th, 2012.

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

May 1st, 2012









I live in dtla and have a good sense of what normal foot and vehicular traffic is like for any given time. On May 1st, foot traffic was very light. It's as if people purposely avoided working or shopping in dtla. The first march down Broadway I would estimate at no more than 4 thousand people. The second march down Broadway I would estimate at no more than 3 thousand people. The people gathered at Pershing Square at no more than 2 thousand people.

Yet there appeared to be just as many street closures and police officers, maybe even more, as there were in 2006 when I saw 500,000 people march down Broadway. It prompts a rational person to ask, what does the power structure fear?

In 2006, undocumented people were not questioning the system, merely asking for a just solution for their situation. Whereas the Occupy movement is asking for more equitable distribution and control of wealth, which may or may not be radical depending on one's perspective.

I spoke to an activist who informed me that the LAPD works with Homeland Security and other federal agencies. I had a vague notion of this, and it prompts an interesting question: How much influence and control does the federal government have over the LAPD versus how much control do local authorities have, and how does this shape how the LAPD responds to Occupy L.A?

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

The World According to Thor Halvorson


I was watching CÑÑ recently and the guest for the entire hour was a Norwegian-Venezuelan named Thor Halverson. You may have heard of his son, although I hadn't until I googled this man's name to make sure of his name's spelling and confirm his identity.

They say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, which in this case is both unfortunate, and cause for mild amusement. I rarely watch television and in fact had been experiencing a media blackout for months, but was quite entertained and amused.

According to this man who is the former drug czar of Venezuela in an adminstration prior to Chavez's, some institute in England concluded that the files found in Raul Reye's computer 3 years ago, confirm the connection between the FARC and Hugo Chavez and the FARC and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa. He expressed absolute faith in the findings, but acknowledged that it is an issue that both the Columbian and Venezuelan governments have turned the page on.

He further went on to say that the Venezuelan government is involved in drug trafficking, the campaign of Rafael Correa accepted financial contributions from the FARC, the government of Manuel Zelaya was involved in drug trafficking as well, but the current government of Honduras no longer is, however, the Nicaraguan government is involved in drug trafficking , and during the 1980's, Fidel Castro set up the drug lanes for Pablo Escobar Gaviria. This last piece of information is absolutely astonishing. Not only did the government headed by Fidel Castro provide healthcare for all of its citizens during this time, at the very same time Fidel Castro himself set up the drug lanes for PEEG. Wow! That's what I call efficiency. What is the President of Mexico doing wrong?

Furthermore, Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian jihadists, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban are involved in drug trafficking in Latin America as well. Also, all of this drug trafficking is destabilizing governments in West Africa. For his part, Thor expressed that he has always maintained excellent relationships with the CIA and the DEA. Meanwhile, the near non-existant coverage of Latin America by the Los Angeles Times continues. What is a well intentioned resident of Southern California and citizen of the world to believe?

On any given day, there is 2 to 3 times more coverage about Europe or the Middle East than Latin America, and it's been that way for years. How can this lack of coverage be justified, particularly when one considers that half of the population of Los Angeles County is of Latin American origin? Perhaps the Times can justify it by saying that those residents of Latin American origin don't read the L.A. Times, or by citing lack of resources, or by suggesting that what happens in Latin America is less important than what happens in Europe or the Middle East.

I do not criticize its lack of coverage, I merely point it out. However, according to Mr. Halvorson, intriguing, nefarious, criminal events involving governments and terrorists are occurring in Latin America, all with the ultimate aim of delivering lines of white powder to the noses of American consumers, and his claims are the subject of serious discussion on a prestigious cable network.

What can be expected of the average American to know about Latin America considering that major media outlets hardly cover it, and others provide a mainly distorted and biased perspective? Even PBS, in the documentary, The Hugo Chavez Show, referred to Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, and Hugo Chavez, as "anti-American."

Since the turn of the century, numerous Latin American leaders have been elected who have asserted their country's sovereignty and challenged Anglo-saxon hegemony. At one point Cuba was largely ostracized from the rest of Latin America and excluded from the Organization of American States, which it subsequently refused to join. Now the Latin American countries have formed a new regional organization, CELAC, which Cuba is a part of, and excludes Canada and the United States. If Americans were aware of this process, of the unraveling of Anglo-saxon hegemony, perhaps they could relate it to the overall downfall of their empire, and have anticipated the direst recession since the great depression of the 1930s, and have been further along in the process of creating transformative solutions to our ecologically and economically unsustainable society. The reality is that the rest of the world does not depend on the resources of the U.S. to sustain itself, the U.S. depends on the resources of the rest of the world, particularly oil, to sustain itself.

In the year of 2012, when there is so much interest in Mayan culture and civilization, Anglo-saxon hegemony stands to be dealt another blow in Mexico's elections, and the words of an Aymara, Evo Morales when he visited Mexico, may come closer to being realized, that "Mexico too shall be free."

I suppose CÑÑ and other traditional media outlets will keep informing us how full of anti-American, drug dealing, socialists Latin America is.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

HItler Weighs in on the 2012 Election and the Downfall of the American Empire



After Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney was asking his rivals to drop out. I have not payed much attention to the Republican primaries, but even I am aware that this has been the most entertaining Republican presidential primary season in the history of the country. It has been a parade of funny, idiotic, delusional clowns. I was hoping it would go on much longer. I miss Michelle Bachman. I wish Herman Cain had not dropped out. Rick Perry, were are you? Texas can't have you all to itself. Sarah Palin, please run for President! Rick Santorum, you da man! Paul, who?

Is it possible that a Hitler parody utilizing the brilliantly written, directed, acted, shot, and edited scene from the movie Downfall, expresses more truth and gives a more realistic assessment of the state of the American society than most of the traditional media coverage regarding the 2012 Presidential election?

The U.S., with less than 5% of the world's population consumes 21% of the world's oil. At our peak it was more than 25%. Any presidential candidate who is talking about improving the economy and creating jobs without realistically describing how significant reductions in America's radical oil dependence are to occur or realistically describing how such a pattern of consumption is going to be perpetuated is masturbating.

The high prices at the pump are once again challenging American consumers and businesses, creating fear and anger, according to a recent Los Angeles Times headline. It can be deduced, that this radical oil consumption is the primary cause of America's economic woes, and perpetuating this enormous pattern of consumption is the primary motivation for its foreign policy, from Venezuela to the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of the developed world has per capita oil consumption rates which are 40-60% that of the U.S.'s. The vast majority of the developed world responsibly taxes gasoline and funds vast and efficient mass transit systems.

Unfortunately, the American society is dominated by irrational attitudes and perspectives. Proposing to responsibly tax gasoline and fund mass transit, at this point in history, is still a politically suicidal move, or is it?

When we consider to what degree an alternative fuel or alternative technology will replace gasoline, we must keep in mind that there are 250 million registered cars in the United States, and the colossal problem this poses for the mass scale production and adoption of any alternative fuel or technology.

The prospect of the rest of the world eventually abandoning the U.S. dollar as the sole reserve currency of the world, should truly create fear within people who already think that the price of gasoline is too high. In fact, the run up in world oil prices undeniably reflects a weakening dollar.

Is it probable that a majority of American votes can be swayed to support one of these delusional ignoramuses? When it comes to foreign policy, does it make much difference who the President is? Is the American President not bought and paid for? Does the President of the U.S. not answer to invisible, enormously powerful interests instead of the American people?

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Obama Come Home!



TelesurTV is reporting that Barack Obama's visit has been the cause of protests in Brasil and is expected to be met with protests in Chile, as well. Friday's protest ended in front of the American consulate and was dispersed by military police using tear gas and rubber bullets according to Brazilian news outlets.

According to the press release cited by Telesur, the protest is against the "imperialism of the United States and the demagoguery of Obama, who practices a militarist and interventionist policy, while he uses a rhetoric of defense of human rights."

Telesur is also reporting that the American consulate has announced that Obama's speech will no longer take place in a central square in the open air, but in an indoor location.

Folha.com has published numerous photographs related to the event and will surely publish many more in the next few days which promise to be very colorful, as well as videos, although their videos don't seem to load.

Poor Imperial Chief.

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