Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Nobody Expects the U.S. Inquisition

 Notwithstanding the Supreme Court majority's boast of being "Constitutional originalists," the First Amendment of that document apparently does not apply to them. Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion overturning Roe vs Wade that since the founding fathers had not specifically considered abortion to be a human right back in the 18th century, then the subsequent Court decision making it one 200 years later was reached in error. Or, as the nuns used to put it to those of us who went to Catholic school and lived to overcome its hellfire ideology, it was a "most grievous sin."

As a priest essentially put it to my conservative, 40-something Catholic mother when she dutifully sought his permission to go on the pill after bearing six children and suffering several miscarriages: "Be fruitful and multiply." 

 If the secular Pantheon of Founding Fathers didn't, as Alito cynically argued, consider abortion to be a human right, then it can never be a human right. He didn't mention that since the founders were largely slave-owners who raped their property, they actively and deliberately encouraged full-term pregnancies so as to produce more unpaid labor down the road, at no additional cost to themselves. It didn't matter whether the sperm for the progeny/property came from them, or whether it was from other slaves. 

In actuality, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade has set the time machine spinning back much, much further than even the horrific 1700s plantation era. The Supremes have transported us overnight right into the 12th century, when feudalism was all the rage, and the first stirrings of the Catholic Church's escalating crusades and inquisitions against heretics, infidels, and eventually, accused witches, got underway with a vengeance. 

With every single one of the Supremes who voted against reproductive freedom last week being practicing Catholics themselves, perhaps they should exchange their black robes for red ones, with beanies to match.

 Because although some critics have aptly called them an unelected monarchy, they're acting more like a College of Cardinals with infallible power over every-day basic human behavior and freedom, not to mention life and death.

Clarence Thomas, who wrote the concurring opinion, intimated that the criminalization of abortion is his intoxicating gateway drug to the criminalization of birth control, same-sex marriage and even interracial marriage. Once an aspiring Catholic priest, having studied at an Indiana seminary, Thomas in particular seems to consider himself a veritable sub-pope in the Supreme Holy See, without even the need for sacramental oil. 

 George H.W. Bush did the ordination honors, despite Thomas having served only a short time as a practicing judge. He needed that rare, conservative Black guy to tokenize and fill the shoes of the late great Thurgood Marshall.

Thomas, according to the biography "Supreme Discomfort" by Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher, gets really miffed when critics call him a recipient of affirmative action - because everybody should know that it was his own hard work and towering intellect that enabled his rise through the ranks of the American judiciary without ever litigating a single court case after graduation from Yale Law. His opinion overturning affirmative action is probably already written in draft form.

Alito similarly had a private Catholic education, as did Brett Kavanagh and Amy Comey Barrett. Ditto for Chief Justice John Roberts, who only voted against the ruling because he prefers more narrow restrictions and control over women. Sonia Sotomayor alone was able to rise above the dogma of her own parochial Catholic education to vociferously side with the liberal minority.

If there is one extremely faint silver lining to emerge from the overturning of Roe vs Wade, it's that it fully exposes the Democratic Party majority as the feckless enablers and moral co-conspirators that they are.

 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for one, hardly got through singing "God Bless America" on the Capitol Steps (ostensibly to celebrate some very narrow and bipartisanly ass-covering gun control legislation) before she hightailed it out of town and went straight to The Vatican to personally receive communion from the Pope himself.

Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa, Mea Minima Culpa!

You see, Nancy gets to have her cake (rather, wafer) and eat it too. She recently bragged that her production of five children in only six years should prove to the Church once and for all that she is a good Catholic, despite her excommunication by the archbishop of her San Francisco diocese for her mouthing of toothless platitudes defending the reproductive rights of others.

President Joe Biden, also a devout Catholic, merely said that he was "disappointed" in the Supreme Court justices, before hightailing it over to Europe to commune with his NATO bros and gin up more support for his bloody proxy war against Russia. Joe, you might remember, greased the skids for Clarence Thomas's installation as secular Cardinal when he allowed his Senate Judiciary star chamber of a committee to throw Anita Hill under the bus, and then refuse testimony from other women about Thomas's sexual harassment in the "equal opportunity" employment office he had previously been appointed to during the Reagan administration.

Biden only disowned his support of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the federal Medicaid funding of abortions for poor women, when he was running for president in 2020, and then only after pressure from Planned Parenthood. For decades, he had been one of its staunchest advocates in the Senate.

Barack Obama, who took time off from playing golf in Spain to tweet out his own displeasure at the Roe vs Wade ruling, is not a religious man. Therefore, his own failure to protect reproductive rights when he had the chance is even worse than that of the Catholic leaders who are torn between their church and their state. Early in his first administration, when he enjoyed a congressional supermajority, he reneged on a campaign promise to legally codify the reproductive rights of women. It was the same old Democratic excuse: he didn't want to alienate his Republican friends. He didn't want to spend his political capital, especially if it canceled out one of his party's most lucrative fundraising gimmicks.

But he didn't stop there. When, in 2011. Kathleen Sebelius, his Catholic Health and Human Services secretary, blocked the FDA's approval of over-the-counter Plan B, or "morning-after" pills, to teenagers under 18, Obama offered his full-throated support of the ban. He chauvinistically moralized that "as the father of two young girls" he, too, felt uncomfortable with the thought of teens being able to just prance into the drugstore to buy birth control like it was candy. 

Susan F. Wood of George Washington University, who resigned from the FDA in 2005 because of delays by the George W. Bush administration in relaxing restrictions on Plan B, said she was “beyond stunned” by the decision.

“There is no rationale that can justify HHS reaching in and overturning the FDA on the decision about this safe and effective contraception,” Wood said. “I never thought I’d see this happen again.”

Remember.... nobody expects the American Inquisition. It is bipartisan, for one thing. It is always shocking whenever "your side" drops the liberal mask and goes all medieval on you.

Even after Planned Parenthood sued the Obama administration and won, the Obama administration kept right on appealing the ruling. Finally, in 2013, a federal appeals court judge issued a stinging rebuke, accusing them of bad faith and playing politics, and ordered the FDA to immediately lift the age restriction in the sale of the pills.

 Of course, birth control bans essentially have always been about women having sex, and having fun while doing so and threatening to achieve economic parity once escaping the brood mare corral. It's about men feeling squeamish about their womenfolk having uncontrolled sex and power even other women feeling squeamish about other women having sex and power. Certain powerful men like Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito, and yes, even Barack and Joe, must always cling to the illusion that they are the ones in charge.

As for us, as we learn to cling anew to the reality that we can never rely on any politician or feudal lord to grant or protect our rights, here's a wee bit of Pythonesque solace to tide you over until the dawning of yet another new post-post-modern day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Pathocrats At Play

Even calling it a proxy war is starting to get a little bit precious. In case we needed any more evidence that the United States is simply using Ukrainian bodies and Ukrainian real estate for its war with Russia, no longer bothering to hide the fact that Ukraine is naught but its Cold War 2.0 vassal state, comes news that US Attorney General Merrick Garland personally traveled to Ukraine on Tuesday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Russian war crimes.

Apparently, there is no official in Ukraine, either presidential, judicial or parliamentary, who is capable of appointing special prosecutors. The United States is in full charge and in full control of its puppet regimes.

In a buried paragraph of exquisite understatement, the New York Times casually mentions, almost in passing, that

His overseas travel comes at a particularly tense moment in his tenure at the Justice Department, on a day of dramatic congressional testimony about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that prompted many Democrats to renew their call for him to prosecute former President Donald J. Trump and his allies.

When a nation's top cop is being spread this thin, making him the personification of American "policeman of the world" exceptionalism, it kind of makes you suspect anew that the Trump Show Trial is totally just for show. The testimony elicited Tuesday from the various targets of Trump's coup attempt was, you have to admit, rather compelling, with a whole parade of GOP election officials and politicians swearing that they feared for their very lives as they were so terribly torn between appeasing Trump and thwarting him.

 Merrick Garland  certainly picked a good day to skip town and meddle in the war crimes of others. Then again, the congress-critter (Bennie Thompson) in charge of  the Show Trial has already signaled that he would not be forwarding the panel's findings to the Justice Department, which is said to  be conducting its own casual investigation into what they're touting as the biggest, most horrible alleged threat to our "democracy" in the history of American history. All this, while Trump still plays golf with impunity.

Of course, the Ukraine prosecutor whom Garland is taking it upon himself to appoint has the requisite deep ties to the American security state and its NGO cutouts. What the Times doesn't report is that, before becoming the top cop in her own country,  Irina Veneditkova was a faculty advisor at the Pennsylvania-based Leavitt Institute For International Development, which is funded by what it calls "private donations." In other words, it is very possibly a CIA front organization dedicated to regime change and capitalistic plunder.

 Its founder, David Leavitt, is also currently Utah's Republican county attorney.

But just like Garland, Leavitt doesn't let his job fighting malfeasance in The Homeland take away from his ongoing work in Ukraine, to which he personally traveled earlier this year, ostensibly to find American homes for refugees, and otherwise "spreading democracy, ethics and the rule of law" to that country and its Eastern European neighbors. 

He and other beneficiaries of the neoconservative/ liberal interventionist model of war are not spreading themselves too thin at all. They are simply spreading democracy in the form of suctioning up the wealth of nations to line their own bottomless pockets or those of their clients. Or as the glossy Leavitt website more delicately spins it:

Organized in 2005 by David and Chealthlom Leavitt, TLI operates under the premise that seasoned legal professionals can share their experience and knowledge in order to help push democratic reforms.

TLI began with private donations from the Leavitt family and friends and a small handful of volunteers. Today, TLI operates in multiple cities in eastern Europe, teaching and shaping the minds of the next generation of leaders.

As part of its efforts, TLI involves some of the brightest international relations specialists and legal minds throughout the world to teach democratic principles, rule of law, and ethics. TLI teachers are experienced judges, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and legal counselors from the United States and Canada. They lecture on a variety of subjects and make a lasting impression on the minds of their students.

Among the board of directors of TLI is Natalie Jaresko, an American who has previously worked with the State Department, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Treasury Department - in other words,  the "Blob" -  who was integral in the neoliberalization of the former Soviet Union. In other words, she was a player in the 90s "Harvard Boys" collective, enabling a group of oligarchs to impoverish the Russian people after the Soviet Union collapsed.

As Ukraine's US-installed finance minister, her mammoth task was imposing austerity on regular Ukrainians once the US-manufactured coup in 2014 was a done deal.  Jaresko later brought her economic talents to the US territory of Puerto Rico with her management of the Oversight and Management Board and the subsequent imposition of crushing austerity programs for the regular residents of that particular territory.

It's a big club, as George Carlin used to say. You ain't in it, but Merrick Garland, David Leavitt, Natalie Jaresko and new US-appointed "war crimes prosecutor" Veneditkova certainly are. When you consider that they're all just part of the same big fat blob-club, then it doesn't seem  so weird for Merrick Garland to be calling the legal shots in a foreign country. How could the US possibly be meddling in what is its own conquered territory? They are imperialists, after all, and it behooves them, for democracy appearance's sake, to utilize the requisite number of native experts to do their bidding.

Of course, neither the US nor Russia have signed official international war crimes treaties. The US even has a law on the books requiring it to rescue any of its own club of accused war criminals (think of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Obama, Biden et al) should any of them ever find themselves on trial in The Hague.

So while the Times and other establishment media clutch their pearls over the Trump Show Trial and Garland's absence from The Homeland, they don't even pay lip service to Julian Assange, the imprisoned exposer of American war crimes who is currently under orders by a complicit British official to be extradited to the United States for prosecution under the archaic "espionage act." That law was a fraud right from its World War I start. It was enacted as a means for persecuting antiwar activists and whistleblowers then, and it's being used as such now.

As much as the purveyors and beneficiaries of predatory capitalism choke on their own hypocritical excesses, it will never stop them from gorging themselves till they burst. They're relying on public apathy and the efforts of the courtier establishment press to either maintain it, or to redirect citizen ire against an outside enemy. Think about the scourge of Putinflation, for example.

Maybe the constant exposure of the pathocrats and their foul deeds by what remains of our free press will amount to a forced dietary intervention. As exhausting as this task is, giving up simply doesn't seem like the best option, not even in this, the terminal phase of civilization.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Then As Farce

The People's Party, which made its national debut to much progressive fanfare a couple of years ago, is now ginning up enthusiasm for the presidential candidacy of YouTube personality and standup comic Jimmy Dore.

Why not? Ukraine elected a TV comedian as its own president, and Volodomyr Z. certainly has set establishment and media hearts a-thumping all across the A to Be duopoly back here in the States. Let's face it - after the electorate getting relentlessly regaled by matinee idol Barack Obama and tabloid charlatan Donald Trump, contemporary politicians almost have to be pre-existing celebrities in order to capture any public attention at all.

 Donald Trump won in the GOP primaries because he acted more like a Borsht Belt comic in the Don Rickles genre than the standard noxious cutout Republicans on the 2016 debate stage. Even if you logically thought the guy was a clear and present danger to the earth and all humanity, you couldn't help but appreciate the zingers he aimed at Jeb! Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and that whole free-market gang.

Hillary Clinton certainly was no match for him. All he had to do was juxtapose his boundary-free media persona against this bellicose and humorless former Goldwater Girl, and the victory was his. As long as a life-long grifter can make you laugh right along with him as he makes your grievances and your darkest unspoken impulses his very own - with no punishment and with such an outlandish reward for him - then at least you don't feel so all alone in the world... for whole minutes at a time.

Joe Biden, sadly, is certainly no entertainer.  He was able to beat Trump in 2020 largely because the pandemic kept him locked up in his basement most of the time. Today, with everybody insanely unmasking as the virus rages on, the Democratic Party is in a veritable frenzy of loud whispering about his lack of popularity with the masses. All of a sudden, they're discovering that he is incapable of telling a good story or selling their Narrative Du Jour. And these days, "stories" and acting ability are really the only qualifications that a potential president needs. So when, in a sort of desperate Hail Mary move, his handlers finally sent Joe to a pre-recorded late night comedy show to entertain the folks at home, he simply ended up parodying his own failure to even basically communicate, let alone regale.

"So there’s a lot of major things we’ve done," Biden garbled to Jimmy Kimmel. "But what we haven’t done is we haven’t been able to communicate it in a way that is ah um…make me say another way.”

Politicians like Obama used to say "Make me do it!" as a disingenuous way to gaslight citizens for their own failure to clamor loudly enough for such nice things as single payer health care and debt-free college.  And since even the sympathetic Kimmel could not make Joe Biden form a complete sentence, he gave up completely and just cut to commercial from the political commercial.

In the most delicate kind of tip-toeing way to describe Biden's mental lapses (a/k/a "gaffes") the New York Times is obliquely urging him to fade gracefully into the sunset and not seek re-election. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod displayed his own skills at the glib doubletalk that his boss was so famous for, when he unctuously told the newspaper from both sides of his mouth:

“Biden doesn’t get the credit he deserves for steering the country through the worst of the pandemic, passing historic legislation, pulling the NATO alliance together against Russian aggression and restoring decency and decorum to the White House, And part of the reason he doesn’t is performative. (My bold) He looks his age and isn’t as agile in front of a camera as he once was, and this has fed a narrative about competence that isn’t rooted in reality.”

Translation: sure, the guy is senile, but if you think so, its a mistake on your part and you are an awful, awful person, unlike concern trolls like me, David Axelrod.

And that detour from the ostensible topic of this post brings us back, on the long and winding road of political propaganda, to the nascent Jimmy Dore campaign for president. The main reason that I still watch Dore is for his "telephone interviews" with vocal impersonator Mike MacRae, who does a spot-on, hilarious David Axelrod as well as a perfect obstreperously incoherent Joe Biden.

Otherwise, Dore's shtick has been hit or miss for the last year or so, not least because of his rants about the pandemic, largely focused on medications that liberals don't like. There's also been a decidedly misogynistic slant to the show lately, emphasizing the looks and dress of certain female politicians and celebrities. His guest list, which used to include a wide variety of pundits, politicians, labor leaders and academics, has been largely diminished to a couple of fellow male white comic sidekicks allowed to chime in from time to time to bolster Dore's opinions.

 His interviewing style leaves a lot be desired as well, because these spots are all too often comprised of Dore beating a point to death, often bragging that he is the only guy to cover stories that put the establishment in a bad light, and then asking the guest to comment on the rant. When, for example, writer Chris Hedges appeared on the show last week, he was barely able to get a word in edgewise. More and more, the segments on the Dore show revolve around the latest mean Tweet that some liberal troll or media rival aimed at Jimmy and who was then severely "ratio'd" as a result.

I find myself tuning in less and less, and shutting it off as soon as Dore once again ventures into Covid rant territory, or Amber Heard or AOC territory,  amidst non-stop whining that YouTube is going to yank his channel away from him any day now.

But with a million YouTube subscribers and a nationwide standup tour, Dore certainly has his fans. And that brings me to what appears to be a hastily written and unedited email that I got yesterday from People's Party founder Nick Brana:

Millions lack food and health care and live paycheck to paycheck. Poverty wages now gutted by inflation. Eviction and homelessness sweep every city. Desperation so deep it drives people to opioid addiction and mass murder suicide. The looming fall of the dollar and depression. A dying empire lashing out for war with not one but two nuclear powers. The major left wing party in this country leading the charge for annihilation and censorship.

Thankfully, I and many others have recently found real hope and joy in the prospect that Jimmy Dore could run for president of the United States.


Jimmy has been considering a run for president with the People’s Party for the past several weeks. We’ve been discussing it with him and Stef and have developed a fifty state campaign and ballot access plan with organizers and leading ballot access attorneys. 

The crowds in Des Moines, Omaha and Kansas City erupted in cheers when Jimmy surprised everyone at his live stand up shows last month and said, “I’m thinking of running for president,” and took townhall style questions for the first time....

Jimmy would be the most popular comedian to ever run for president. He would be the first candidate with his own hugely popular online show — something that has only just now become possible due to the rise of the internet and independent media.

This missive goes on for almost the length of an interminable Jimmy Dore rant, so I'll give it a rest.

Despite the Dore candidacy being non-serious, disingenuous, and at worst, cult-like, it might even do some good. It would bring the whole class war cause of almost everything bad in this country right into the forefront. Since our whole society is tragically crumbling all around us anyway, what harm could a little more farce possibly do?

 But if he wants to get any traction at all, I think Dore should ditch the struggling People's Party, which is actually registered as a fundraising political action outfit. He should run as a Democrat to get even a slight chance of getting on a nationally televised primary debate stage and insulting all the wannabes waiting in the wings - such as the insufferable Pete Buttigieg and corrupt New York City Mayor Eric Adams, to name just two of the centrists under loud whispering consideration by party bigwigs. If a New Age outlier like Marianne Williamson could get a podium spot last time around, why not Jimmy Dore in 2024?

After all, the Democratic Party is all about the spectacle, as the January 6 Capitol Riot series now playing on the small screens of America has shown. Even if you think that Dore is funny or informative less than half the time, we can still use all the laughs we can get. And the comfortable and the powerful certainly deserve all the affliction that we can hurl at them.

I'm interested in hearing what readers think about all this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

No Biz Like Congressional Show Biz

The people in charge of the country are now openly admitting that the select committee hearings on the attempted January 6th coup will be more of a glitzy political ad dressed up as a nail-biting Netflix series than it will be a slow, plodding search for truth and justice. But it will most assuredly have the "American way" written all over it.

Just to make sure that the watching public tunes in, the Democrats on the committee have hired the former head honcho of ABC-Disney to be their show-runner. The series will thus be heavy on the teasers and the cliff-hangers. Live action will be interspersed with "never-before-seen" footage of the riot, along with secret tapes of Ivanka and Jared dishing the dirt to the committee in secret.

The news site Axios, which also has its own series on HBO-Max, had the big scoop on the secret show-biz brains behind the show, with Mike Allen breathlessly gushing:

    James Goldston, former president of ABC News, and a master documentary storyteller who ran "Good Morning America" and "Nightline" — has joined the committee as an unannounced adviser, Axios has learned.

    Why it matters: I'm told Goldston is busily producing Thursday's 8 p.m. ET hearing as if it were a blockbuster investigative special. 
      He plans to make it raw enough so that skeptical journalists will find the material fresh, and chew over the disclosures in future coverage.
        And he wants it to draw the eyeballs of Americans who haven't followed the ins and outs of the Capitol riot probe.

        The so-called "probe" has only been ongoing for the past year and a half, with only a few of the hundreds of relatively low-level participants being charged and/or convicted thus far. The plot about the plot advanced ever so slightly this week with a carefully planned show "teaser" of five members of the Proud Boys right-wing militia group belatedly being charged with sedition.  This will add some much needed oomph when the TV Special is able to cast these characters as bona fide marquee traitors, rather than the usual boring old suspects not even rating a screen credit.

        Remember when the corporate media were singing the constant refrain of "The Walls Are Closing In" regarding Trump and the drip-drip-drip narrative of #Russiagate, until it finally ended up as a sorry little puddle of nothingness? Well, they are urging you to keep the hope alive, because this time around, as one Democratic operative promised, the walls are now closing in so hard that the dome will be blown right off the Capitol, what with all the brand-spanking new plot twists and big reveals coming out of this televised extravaganza.

        The New York Times, which tried to keep its own gushery in strict control, buried the lede that a corporate media mogul is being allowed to run this official public inquiry into the attempted overthrow of our allegedly democratic system. But the Grey Lady still was refreshingly honest in describing the hearings as nothing more than a prolonged political ad designed to increase the chances of Democrats in the midterms. The headline makes it perfectly clear that the real purpose of the hearing is not to punish Donald Trump or his high-ranking minions, but to keep the Donald Trump menacing myth alive in the brain fog of the apathetic electorate. The motive is right there in the headline:

        Jan. 6 Hearings Give Democrats a Chance to Recast Midterm Message

        With their control of Congress hanging in the balance, Democrats plan to use made-for-television moments and a carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings to remind the public of the magnitude of Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it.

        It is an uphill battle at a time when polls show that voters’ attention is focused elsewhere, including on inflation, rising coronavirus cases and record-high gas prices. But Democrats argue the hearings will give them a platform for making a broader case about why they deserve to stay in power.

        “When these hearings are over, voters will know how irresponsibly complicit Republicans were in attempting to toss out their vote and just how far Republicans will go to gain power for themselves,” said Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic campaign chair.

        That would be the same Sean Patrick Maloney who heads the fund-raising arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and who recently muscled his way into a redrawn district for fear he couldn't even win back his own constituents in the mid-terms.

         "Maloney’s move may be the most brazenly selfish district hop in American political history," writes The Intercept. "That’s not said lightly, given that Maloney is operating in an industry — politics — that is populated almost exclusively by some of the most craven, attention-seeking people in our society."

        Having just binged on the entire Sopranos series, I can't help but think of the Select Committee hearings as a show about feuding organized crime families. Will the audience root for the Democrats or the Republicans in this derivative mob war? The latter already are streaming out their own counter-programming, gleaned mainly from never before seen X-rated outtakes from Hunter Biden's laptop, featuring his naked self pointing a gun at the cameras like a deranged Christopher Moltisanti, and thus making a complete mockery of the Dems' latest gun "control" theatrics. 

        We are expected to empathize with the vulnerability and panic attacks of a bunch of sociopaths who just unanimously sent unlimited dollars to fight a proxy war in Ukraine,  but who quibble and moan about spending any more money on the health care of their constituents, right in the middle of a pandemic. At least Tony Soprano always paid the hospital bills of his mob rivals after he busted their kneecaps or otherwise beat them to a bloody pulp.

        As it is, in "real" life, the White House mob reportedly has been discussing how many people they can decently allow to die of Covid before they can finally stop pretending to care.

        So fuggedabout reality. It's on with the show because the show must go on. 

        It was French philosopher Guy Debord who wrote that "the spectacle is essentially tautological, for the simple reason that its means and its ends are identical. It is the sun that never sets on the empire of modern passivity. It covers the entire globe, basking in the perpetual warmth of its own glory."

        We the spectators can channel-surf so obsessively that more often than not, we simply give up and don't watch anything at all. It is the opposite situation in our political system, however, which has only two channels to present to us the hopes and dreams and narratives which they've so carefully manufactured for us..

        This Manichean state of affairs is exactly how the populace is controlled by the owners and purveyors of information. They have attempted to commodify our very attention. So if we do tune in to Thursday night's corporate political extravaganza, we paradoxically will be united by the spectacle at the same time that we are isolated from one another. The more that we remain glued to the tube, as Debord wrote, the less that we can think, let alone live.

        And that is by design. That is the whole point.

        No word yet if the enhanced political propaganda posing as a legal hearing will itself be interrupted by ads. But I wouldn't be surprised.

        "The spectacle is capital accumulated to the point where it becomes image." - Guy Debord.

         "Sometimes it's important to give people the illusion of being in control." -- Tony Soprano.