....LMB: "No War But the Class War"....

January 03, 2003

I very distinctly remember I heard the phrase "class war" on television. I think it was the mid-1990s, and Republican Congressmen tried to pass a tax cut. Some generic conservative legislator told a reporter "the American people are tired of hearing about 'class warfare.'"

I had two thoughts nearly simultaneously.

"No, I want to hear more about this 'class warfare' you're talking about."


"Wait a minute, how can I be tired of it if I haven't heard anything about it yet?"

It's absolutely hilarious, really. When conservatives try to cut taxes for the rich, they try to pre-emptively defeat the "class warfare" criticism by pretending that that angle has already been discussed at length, refuted and everyone is so sick of the topic that they want to vomit, even though not a single word on the subject has yet been uttered.

For example, regarding an "economic stimulus package" (what the hell does that really mean, anyway? Who's being stimulated and how?) that he has yet to unveil, President Bush said "Some would like to turn this into class warfare. That's not how I think." Well Mr. President, that's all well and good, but how YOU think is irrelevant to this situation. I'll bet you a trillion dollar deficit that Cheney or Rove assembled this package, not you.

But his economic stimulus plan is to cut taxes, mainly on the rich. What's the saying, "a rising tide lifts all yachts?"

And I'd like to say a few words about Bush's 2001 tax cut. The idea was to cut over $1 trillion over the course of ten years. But to make the plan look more pleasant, most of the savings don't go into effect for another 6 or 7 years, when folks like your and me won't be paying attention. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, by the time the 10 year tax plan has come and gone, 84% of the benefits will have gone to the richest 1% of the population.

Our first Chief Justice, John Jay once said, "the people who own this country ought to govern it." He'd probably like the Bush administration.

Posted by Jake at 10:23 PM

The deceit is staggering, isn't it?

Posted by: Sean-Paul at January 5, 2003 07:46 PM

i just finished reading WHERE WE STAND: CLASS MATTERS, by bell hooks and it was incredibly insightful and informative, however depressing...you should check it out.

there seems to be no end to the greed of the in the U.S. i just don't understand how the wealthy citizens of this country feel completely fine stepping over the homeless to step into their SUV's. what amount is enough to live comfortably and still help those in need? it's really fucking annoying. and welfare reform? yeah, that's real nice. when will people reach the point where safe, affordable housing is considered a basic necessity? a basic human right?

i just don't understand how some people can feel okay owning 2 or 3 homes, 2 or 3 cars, and living in absolute gluttony while so many others around them can't even feed themselves. it's a goddamn shame...

Posted by: the evil queen at January 6, 2003 11:01 AM

John Jay would indeed love this Bush administration, for it's love of wealth and distain for the working classes. Here's what I had to say about Jay in 1796...

"John Jay has said (and this John was always the sycophant of everything in power, from Mr. Gerard in America, to Grenville in England), John Jay has said that the Senate should have been appointed for life. He would then have been sure of never wanting a lucrative appointment for himself, and have had no fears about impeachment. These are the disguised traitors that call themselves Federalists. (If Mr. John Jay desires to know on what authority I say this. I will give that authority publicly when he chooses to call for it - Author ).

This is from "Letter to George Washington" dated July 30, 1796 when I was in Paris during the French Revolution.

No wonder I was written out the American high school history books.

Posted by: Tom Paine at January 6, 2003 04:34 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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