Video Weekend 7-22-2017: Amazing Portents Some Years Back — Moyers, Bernie, Obama, Trump, NAFTA, Clintons, TPP, Drones, and More…

Sometimes it is useful to look a few years back to see where we and our conversation were back then and compare it with now. Which predictions came true? Which hopes were dashed? And which topics that were taboo are finally on the table? It gives us an idea of the process of change and the trends we are in, as opposed to the mere momentary snapshot we usually see every day. From this we can better tell how to move forward. Here are three astoundingly great episodes, three one-hour classics, of Moyers & Company, which can open our eyes a little more:

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(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Moyers & Company Show 141:Plutocracy Rising”)

Quotes (with comments):

Moyers: “Income inequality has soared to the highest level since the great depression, with the top 1% taking 93% of the income earned in the first year of the recovery.”

Chrystia Freeland: “Thirty-seven percent of the recovery went to the top 0.01 percent.” (That’s one in a hundred of them, the 1% of the 1%!)

Bill Clinton (according to Matt Taibbi): “You can’t attack these people [the super rich] for their success.” (Success?!? What success is it when you are born rich, as most of those at the top of our dunghill were? And how laudable is the success of those few who clawed themselves to the top of the dunghill by robbing the rest of us, just like the dynastic forebears of the born-rich ripped off our forebears?)

We must get over this idea that has been hammered into our heads that, if we are poor, we deserve to be poor and that the rich deserve to be rich. We were all born alike, bringing nothing but ourselves to this world; and none of us created the horribly unjust wealth distribution system of our lopsided economy and money market. This injustice machine grew over many generations through vile acts of crooks and goons who passed their loot, their advantage, and their abominable methods of screwing everyone else, on to their descendants. This created dynasties of economic and political aristocracy who keep doing everything in their power to uphold the vast wealth and income inequality that ruins the lives of almost all human beings, and even hurts the rich themselves — to some degree in their prime when they, for example, have to deal with gold diggers — but most especially as they get old and the biological curse with which we are all born comes to haunt them as it haunts all of us: with death of loved ones, with our own advancing decrepitude, and with our own death after just a few decades spent on Earth.

Why do I mention this biological curse? I do so because it is something that – in our scientific and technological society – we actually can do something about; but we won’t if we only keep spending our energies in a never-ending class war that – in contrast to what the corporate media’s propaganda machine keeps telling us – was never started at the bottom. It always started at the top, when crooks and goons began grabbing everything in their sights and ripping everybody off through either violent force or devious economic rip-off schemes, many of which we have become so accustomed to that we don’t even question their legitimacy anymore, although we darn well should!

Chrystia Freeland: “So, you know, if you want my dystopia scenario for the United States, it is that America’s moving into a more Latin American structure of the economy.” (Banana republic, anyone?)

The funny thing about the “good” plutocrats and the “bad” plutocrats (with each plutocrat always seeing himself as on of the “good” plutocrats) is this: Sure, some of them built their huge companies from scratch, but — putting aside that they usually started out with a head start in life plus friendly help from all sides that most of us never get — there remains the often overlooked fact that they didn’t do it alone! Just as no general has ever won a battle alone (he gave the orders, but his soldiers did the actual fighting!), no Bill Gates or Steve Jobs built his company alone! They were helped by all those who worked for them and didn’t even remotely get a similarly sized share.

In the 1950’s the top tax rate (for the richest of the rich) was 91% while today they pay a lower rate (15% max) than the working everyday Americans like you and me! Let that sink in! And that’s ignoring the rampant tax evasion at the top of our dungheap society!

The government hasn’t been doing its job which our founders defined in no uncertain terms when they demanded it “promote the general Welfare.”

The story of Russia, where – after the end of the Soviet Union – a division of its people into poor and rich was created instantly (by giving all the formerly state-owned companies to a few privileged folks, mostly former KGB officials) is really no different from what created our own dungheap society, only faster. In both cases we are looking at a self-perpetuating division into rich and poor through a never-ending chain of distorted property and economic rigging.

The carried interest tax break, by the way, explains why working in an investment firm is the lower rung on the ladder leading up to the divine world of plutocracy for those who covet wealth and live for money rather than for human values, and who unsurprisingly threat their fellow human beings accordingly.

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And here is a really interesting parallel to our current fight for Net Neutrality, and a chance to meet Bernie Sanders in a Bill Moyers interview a few years ago. And then, fascinating to compare, an interview with a former Republican congressman who is disgusted by what his party has become.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Moyers & Company Show 148: Bernie Sanders on Big Media’s Power Play”)

Déjà vu: As with Free Speech on the Internet (usually called Net Neutrality), the FCC, with its boss imposed from above by corrupt presidents, acts as the enemy of the people trying to consolidate control of news and communications in the hands of a few billionaires. And obviously the FCC learned from the resistance back then since its current poll taking is utterly hacked.

As Bernie said in the interview, one way for officials to betray the public to the robber billionaires is to be moving quickly, quietly, and secretly. Doesn’t this remind you of the Trumpcare bill this year?

Consider this insanity: One out of four corporations in America doesn’t pay a nickel in taxes, but if I should try to make my living as a tutor selling my time to help students graduate from school, I’d have to pay business taxes on top of my income tax making my tax burden even higher!

And then the interview of Marvin Henry “Mickey” Edwards, a former Republican congressman, who – seeing our political system sink ever deeper into corruption – wrote a book titled: “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans”

Watching this video, I can’t help but think that both Bernie and this life-long self-identified conservative (a former Republican congressman, at that!) might both agree with me that the political fight we must wage is neither “right” against “left”, nor “left” against “right”, but the people against public enemy #1: the political corruption and plutocracy ruling, squeezing, and oppressing us from atop the dungheap society they have created. Americans who have been traditionally grouped into the “Democrat” and GOP camps, disdaining or hating each other, should actually be able to unite and fight together for the America we both want, putting aside our comparatively minor differences in a struggle for justice and liberty for all.

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Here is yet another flashback to a few years ago, from back when basically none of us knew about the TPP, yet. Also, Bill Moyers exposed the inhumanity of our drone war which many of us are still innocently ignorant about. You really shouldn’t miss this recorded episode:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Moyers & Company Show 148: Bernie Sanders on Big Media’s Power Play”)

In conclusion, I think we can all see here that we have come quite some way in just a few years. Back then, only some were aware of Obama’s and Trump’s corruption. The TPP was still an unknown in the public mind. Yet the people participating on the Moyers & Company Show predicted or foreshadowed much of what we have woken up to — even the idea that our traditional political party divide is a thing of the past that we should leave behind to unite as Americans for a just and fair America with good lives for all. Some voices are always worth listening to.


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