Sunday, January 22, 2017

Assimilate In the O-Borg

Mere Mortals of the World, Unite!

For all you citizen-consumers already waxing nostalgic for the enlightened Obama years, please don't despair.

Because even before landing in Palm Springs for a well-deserved time of peace and quiet after his eight non-stop years of war, soaring high above all the vicious carnage-stopping unleashed by Donald Trump, Barack sent out an email blast to his most loyal constituents. It was his very First Contact as a Private Citizen! He wants them to define their priorities -- and of course, to send a generous donation to Obama.Org.

The stellar product he is selling is a neoliberal, market-based citizenship initiative.  Vaunted literary man that he is, Obama writes:
The Obama Foundation is a living, working start-up for citizenship — an ongoing project for us to shape, together, what it means to be a good citizen in the 21st century. The Foundation is based on the South Side of Chicago, and we will have projects all over the city, the country, and the world.
To help us get started, we would love to hear from you. Send us your ideas, your hopes, your dreams about what we can achieve together. Tell us about the people who inspire you and the organizations whose work you admire.
This will be your Foundation just as much as it is ours.
Full disclosure: I signed up for his post-presidency endeavor just when the fund-raising for his foundation was first getting started, simply to keep sardonic tabs on things. I'd become absolutely intrigued when I read about all the careful post-presidency planning going on at the White House well over a year before he left office. I wanted to be a part of the franchise!

It's because the real purpose of Obama's start-up for citizenship is kick-starting the spread of the Obama Legend. As the New York Times described the private planning in the public People's House:
In their conversations with Mr. Obama and his advisers, people from Silicon Valley and Hollywood are pressing for a heavy reliance on cutting-edge technology in the library that would help spread the story of Mr. Obama’s presidency across the globe. Ideally, one adviser said, a person in Kenya could put on a pair of virtual reality goggles and be transported to Mr. Obama’s 2008 speech on race in Philadelphia.

But more about Obama.Org - the good news is that there is no written requirement that you actually send Obama any cash money in order to pour out all your hopey dreaminess to him. Therefore, to do my part for the Trump Resistance Movement, I suggested to Obama that he use the majority of his time agitating not just to protect Obamacare, but to expand it with a real single payer, Medicare for All program. I told him that the groups I most admire are Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and National Nurses United and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) I am sure that he will take my suggestion and nominations under very serious consideration, even though they were accompanied by a contribution of exactly Zero Dollars. 

After all, now that he no longer has the Republican Congress to thwart his every hope and dream and initiative, he will finally enjoy the freedom to be the progressive he has always been at his deepest core. Right? So I would strongly encourage you to join me and mightily blast out your own inspirational priorities on the form he has so thoughtfully provided for his wealthy donors you.

What with the stellar board of directors he has assimilated in the O-Borg I think we can be very confident that the former president will finally gin up the courage to go after Wall Street malfeasance and be a true champion of public labor unions.

But as his Democratic apologists always chide us unicorn-lovers, you can't expect him to bring a knife to a gunfight. Therefore, he has loaded down his Org Board with a panoply of mostly male hedge fund honchos, charter school advocates, investment bankers, corporate CEOs, private equity moguls -- and just a couple of NGO women of color to give his endeavor just that right identitarian tone. And to give it just the right egalitarian tone, he's actually made a Poorman the president of his foundation. J. Kevin Poorman, that is. Poorman is already a very busy guy, what with acting as CEO of the real estate empire of Obama's billionaire Commerce Secretary and sugar mommy, Miss MoneyPenny Pritzker.

And if all you earth-bound Obama fans are fretting that Barack might be going into predator drone withdrawal out there in Palm Springs, please take heart. Another Orgboard member is his good golfing buddy Robert Wolf, formerly of UBS. Wolf now runs an enterprise called Measure-Drone. Coincidentally, Wolf got exclusive FAA approval to run the country's largest private drone fleet just one year before his good buddy left office. His new hires coincidentally also include veterans of Obama's Kill List drone ops. So, this skid-greasing should give Wolf plenty of time to continue his other gig as a paid contributor to Fox News and the neoliberal Fox Business Channel.

All in all, some pretty good deals for the guy whose bank avoided criminal prosecution for helping wealthy Americans dodge taxes at the same time that the Obama Justice Department ensured that the whistle-blower of the fraud got sentenced to 40 months in prison.

To show his appreciation to his good buddy, perhaps Robert Wolf can even elevate the runner-up entry in Obama's architectural shrine contest to first place. It would certainly be very good advertising for his new business. And it fits right in with the original Star Trek/Wikipedia definition of Borg: "a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called 'the Collective' or 'the Hive'. The Borg use a process called assimilation to force other species into the Collective by injecting microscopic machines called nanoprobes, as well as with surgically adding cybernetic parts. The Borg are driven by a need for 'perfection', and assimilate other races to further that goal."

What, and whom,and where do we sign up to resist first? So much bipartisan crony capitalism, so little time.

Donald J. Trump is no anomaly. He is simply the most vocal, disgusting, in-your-face, TV-ready villainous manifestation of the corrupt global plutonomy in all of American history.

But never mind all that. Because the big buzzing controversy that the corporate media hive is choosing to nanoprobe today is all about the bickering over who got the bigger inaugural crowds - Dear Leader Trump, or Dear Leader Obama?

  We are dying to be informed, day in and day out, that Trump is a corporate media-certified and enabled big fat liar about even the stupidest things. People are literally dying out here.  

 "We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."-- Star Trek, First Contact.


annenigma said...

Poor Obama will be competing for attention, if not dollars, with Mark Zuckerberg. I do wonder if Obama's following and donations will dry up like the Clinton's did after they lost the election and they had to shutter the doors of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Why do these people always have to go global when there is so much to be done here at home? The national donation pot too small? Positioning for UN Secretary-General? President of the World Bank? International Monetary Fund? Or maybe he just wants to travel globally on the Foundation dime, especially now that the CGI is defunct and all those petrodollars are now available.

Anyway, Zuck's 2017 resolution is a 50-state 'listening tour' ala Hillary Clinton. Wikileaks also revealed that Zuck asked the Clinton team by email for a tutorial on politicking (BIG mistake!) His 2016 resolution was to eat only meat from animals he raised and killed himself which he claims makes it taste better. He also says he wants to go hunting sometime. He should go with Obama since he's admittedly "good at killing". They'd make quite the syndicate.

Zee said...

“Why do these people always have to go global when there is so much to be done here at home?” —annengima

Perhaps because “these people” hope that global memories—at least of those who weren’t “droned” into Hellfire-missile-oblivion in obscure foreign lands—will be shorter than those of us ‘here at home?’”

The impression that I get from reading news and opinion from many different sources is that although Obama leaves with a high personal favorability rating here in the U.S. of A., his rating with respect to his policies is pretty much in the toilet, across race, gender AND class.

Who wants to bankroll a snobby, professorial, policy wonk whose policies nevertheless failed so many people on so many fronts? (Somewhere I once read a quote from Bertrand Russell—made in a somewhat different context, to be sure—to the effect that some ideas are so ridiculous as to be believed only by very learned people. I think Obama falls into that gullible category,)

Hence, the global push. Having run out of suckers locally, Obama is casting his bait (for money) farther afield.

Meanwhile, I’m sure that Zuckerberg will be eager to hear ME out on his “listening tour”—NOT. The funny thing about all of these listening tours is that the “listener” will inevitably hear only what he/she wants to hear, spoken to him/her solely by a select band of sycophants, and NOTHING else.

Which is why Hillary’s presidential hopes went up in smoke in the first place.

Nonni Muss said...

My theory is that the Clintons went global to thwart federal campaign finance laws, which prohibit contributions from foreign individuals and organizations.

Bill Sprague said...

Let's face it: the Congress hated the fact that Obama was a black MAN from Day Zero. It's all about MONEY, not the size of one's phallus (wallet would be more like it, but hey, that's just another bulge in one's pants). I'm getting quite old now and when I look back over all the stuff that's happened in the last 70 years I come up with the fact that I've been lied to by our gummint over and over again. At the same time that everyone's clucking about the fact that the electorate is so stupid. This "democracy" has 2 great lies that it must get past before it can get "over" things: 1) genocide (on the natives) and 2) slavery. Without actually DOING SOMETHING about those creases in the story of "our" democracy? And no, Ta-Nehisi Coates was incorrect in his Atlantic Monthly article: reparations (MONEY) are NOT what it's all about and giving me a casino is not making it either.

annenigma said...

TPP is dead. Yay Trump!

Jamie said...

"Donald J. Trump is no anomaly. He is simply the most vocal, disgusting, in-your-face, TV-ready villainous manifestation of the corrupt global plutonomy in all of American history."

Not true ... Trump just killed the TPP today and will renegotiate NAFTA. I will admit that Trump is a capitalist pig.

Jay–Ottawa said...

After eight years we’ve finally gotten rid of a president who betrayed ALL the promises he made to get elected. He had a gift for turning hope into misery for millions.

Whatever the new guy is at bottom, whatever he did yesterday, whatever he’s got up his sleeve for tomorrow, today he did something worthy of his office. He drove a stake through TPP. At least one good deed to his credit.

Anonymous said...

It took TNC 15,000 words to make his case and you're refuting it with 8?

Pearl said...

Jay: Watching DTrump making what appear to be intelligent decisions such as TPP, NATO, being 'friendly' to particular Russians, etc. made me wonder if real concern for the American people was involved. I then saw replays of some of his plans as president which reminded me that it was coming from the head of a human who was truly delusional and definitely mentally ill. I felt a chill down my spine and wondered what all his grandiose plans regarding meetings with heads of countries were really all about.

I now truly believe it is the ultimate test of his power and 'wisdom' to rearrange the chess pieces of the world and bring the spoils back to his people (HIS PEOPLE)who also have visions of grandeur to keep their image of what a Great America really should and could be. My gut told me I had hit the jackpot of what is in store for all of us unless I too was becoming delusional.

All those choices of horrors to run the country under him fit in with the picture
I now see clearly.
Let me know what you and others see ahead for us Jay, unless others around him recognize what is in store and manage to hogtie him.

I think the magnificent Women's March got the message. After all we are brought up to sniff danger to our loved ones and you note he is avoiding our obvious existence. He has the markings of a complete predator.

Neil said...

RE Bill Sprague "This "democracy" has 2 great lies that it must get past before it can get "over" things: 1) genocide (on the natives) and 2) slavery."

Yes, and land theft from the natives.

Elizabeth Martínez writes "its part of our creation myth, or origin myth, which is the story people are taught of how the nation came into being" see What is White Supremacy?

To admit the truth as you articulated is to admit the USA is a nation born of white supremacy. The truth of white supremacy is still too unacceptable to many Americans. I have written about this issue too. For example, the American Civil War is not resolved in the minds of people living in my town, see

Racism in America is attributable to millions of people with who hold a white privilege racist attitude. White privilege racism is ambient throughout American society.

Since there is virtually no likelihood of changing the hearts and minds of white privilege racists, the remedy is to take their money. This approach essentially bankrupted the White Aryan Resistance with a $12.5 million judgment. Another approach is to admit millions of immigrants to settle in white strongholds, to dilute white supremacy power.

The white privilege class in America owes the descendants of African American slaves back pay for 246 years of labor. The first were bought in 1619. The last were freed in 1865. In the intervening 246 years, slaves labored to make America what it is today. See "American Slavery to Freedom after 246 years. Photos Ex Slaves 1900-1940"

Back pay is owed to the descendants of slaves, among other things. "reparations" are seen by too many as a special right. The concept of back pay is better understood. 246 years of slave labor needs to be paid. Back pay is legitimate compensation.

Another outstanding debt, damages for kidnapping African people from the continent of Africa, and the Atlantic Slave Trade that brought them to be sold as chattel property in the United States. Damages for wrongful death; damages for involuntary servitude; damages for rape; damages for assault and battery; And from 1865 forward, damages for the horrors after the American Civil War, lynching, murder and other crimes, Jim Crow, and peonage, slavery by another name. You didn’t build that, slaves built it for you. Slaves built the White House. Now slaves need to get paid.

peonage, slavery by another name

The Lenape people claimed in a federal lawsuit the Walking Purchase of 1737 cheated them of their lands in the Lehigh Valley. The court ruled that the case was nonjusticiable, although it acknowledged that Indian title appeared to have been extinguished by fraud. This ruling held through the United States courts of appeals. The US Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

See The Delaware Nation v. Commonwealth of PA et al., No. 04-CV-166, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of PA, Memorandum and Order, November 30, 2004