Friday, January 07, 2022

Jan. 6th anniversary was yesterday- a rebellion that the right pulled off!

 By Steve Otto

Origionally published at Otto's War Room.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s putsch (Jan. 6th). It did not succeed, and even though I have to admire their execution, planning and carrying out of an action that scared the shit out of all our elected leaders—those leaders were scared shitless.

And I should hate them because they are on the far right, but the left has not done anything like this since the 1960s.

Since the right shook this country to its core, I solute them.

There are times when the unity of opposites theory kicks in and we see it in action.

So on this anniversary I say—Solute the right. I don't agree with their cause, but they know how to put on a rebellion.[1]



[1] This article is not intended to support Trump or any of his supporters. Trump is the most undemocratic politician since Richard Nixon. Trump’s ridiculous claims of voter fraud stealing the elections and his outright support for his Jan. 6 putsch, are direct attacks on US Democracy. Some of us have been very critical of US Democracy—but replacing it with straight out fascism is not the answer.

 



 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Joe Manchin is a no good saboteur of the Democratic Party

By Steve Otto

We rarely see Republicans sabotage their own party for the petty needs of just one person. We can call the Republicans a lot of things, but they are united, especially on their own issues and they all stick together. Just look at former president, Donald Trump. By the end of his term the entire Republican Party backed him and they still do.

Only about two Republicans have agreed to look into the crimes of Trump, a former president known for harassing women and violating them. He openly bragged of grapping their crotches. But he advanced the conservative agenda, giving out generous tax breaks for $millionaires and $billionaires. He supported his party well and was rewarded by his party for the good things he do for them.

For the Democrats things are much different. For example Joe Manchin, of West Virginia is out to directly sabotage President Joe Biden's new bill. He is standing up for the $millionaires and $billionaires as if he was a member of the Republican Party.

Many progressives are sick and tired of a nation run for the benefit of all the wealthy in this country and at the expense of all the poorer people and the working class. They have been hugely ripped off.

Many people are demanding progressive reforms, but Machin has stood against those reforms and he has tried to sink the Biden presidency and all progressive reforms.

Why he even calls himself a Democrat many of us just don't know. Why belong to a party when your interests are with the Republican Party? Manchin is a traitor pure and simple. He does not belong in the Democratic Party and he has done nothing to help that party out. He is a saboteur. He is just plain no good. 

According to Bernie Sanders:

 

"If Joe Manchin wants to vote no on Build Back Better, let him do it and explain to West Virginia and America why he doesn't want to lower drug prices, fight climate change, and covering hearing aids, dental and vision for seniors. Let's vote."

 

According to the New Yorker:

"Joe Biden’s "Build Back Better" plan, which would provide universal pre-K, expand health-care access, and supply generous tax incentives for green energy, has been in serious peril for weeks. On Sunday, Senator Joe Manchin appeared to kill it. “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t,” Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.” Bret Baier, the Fox News anchor, asked Manchin if this was a definitive no. “This is a no on this legislation,” Manchin replied. After the show, the Democrat from West Virginia put out a statement confirming his position."

                  

Pix by Ninja Warrior Logo Vector Saboteur Icon Stock Vector (Royalty Free) 1244335144


Thursday, December 16, 2021

This year Scrooge is the hero and he doesn’t need to change

 By Steve Otto

Every year we are inundated with lots and lots of commercials. Tis the Christmas season and that means selling lots of stuff for people to buy—mostly as gifts to others. We see the same old symbols—Santa and his reindeers along with Mrs. Clause—Santa’s wife. There are candy canes, giant candles and snow men. And there is Ebenezer Scrooge from the fable, A Christmas Carol: he starts out as a selfish miser

And in the end of the story he turns his life around and after three ghost show him his mistakes—past, present and future, he becomes generous.

So how does he change because he works out? This year we see a Scrooge who uses a Peloton stationary bike and workout set. According to an article on this commercial:

“In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge finally changed his cruel behavior after a visit from three ghosts. But what if all he needed was a Peloton bike?

Peloton explored this idea in its holiday campaign, When Your Workout Is a Joy, It's a Joy to Work Out, created by Adam & Eve. Comedian Brett Gelman, known for his roles in Fleabag and Stranger Things, portrays a modern-day Scrooge who despises holiday cheer. 

In the campaign’s debut spot, Scrooge screams at a group of carolers, before slamming the door in their faces. But his mood completely changes after he receives a Peloton stationary bike as a gift.”

So what about this ad shows Scrooge changing into a more generous person? Like most ads the message is to buy and consume. This makes a person more fit, but not more generous. One ad shows him asking a young black man what day it is…. "It is August 19." In all this time he is not  more generous, just more fit. So along with the messages of this season, this ad only shows selfishness for one person and by proxy, selfishness for the person who buys the product.

Maybe this is what Christmas is really all about—not helping others, just helping yourself. It is all about selfishness and that has nothing to do with the original story. The ad high jacks the original story and uses it for the selfishness of the company who makes Peloton and promotes that for those who use it.

So the message of Christmas, a time of giving and generosity, turns into a season of selfishness, profits and greed!



A Christmas Song- Jethro Tull

 


Christmas at Ground Zero- "Weird Al" Yankovic

 


Monday, December 06, 2021

Bob Dole was an honorable adversary

 

By Steve Otto

Make no mistake about it—Bob Dole and I were adversaries. We never agreed on anything. He was a Republican and one of the enemy. And maybe I’m getting older, but I’m able to make peace with some of my adversaries. Like it or not, I have a certain respect for Dole. Maybe it is the same as with Vern Miller. We were enemies. But even enemies can come to terms with each other. Dole had died. He was very old, he died at 98.

He was an old time conservative, one who was able to reach across to the Democrats when they could make a deal. Today there are very few deals. Compared to the Republicans of today, Dole is a radical liberal. He was very conservative, but not as the loonies we have today.


Compare him to Donald Trump and it is like comparing apples to oranges. Trump is not just a conservative—he’s a political ass and a buffoon. As with his present day party, he lacks any moral standards. He bragged about grabbing women by the crotched and even religious evangelicals overlook that outrageous behavior. I never knew Dole to do anything like that.

So while I commit heresy by saying anything nice about Dole, I have to admit there was a time when conservatives had a sense of fair play and could actually make compromises. Today we have a polarized system with centrist on one side and ultra conservative loonies on the other. There are a few progressive Democrats, but they have yet to reach critical mass.

So I honor former Senator Bob Dole. He was an honorable adversary.

Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate Dole as a statesman who at least knew how to behave in a civilized manor. 

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Father Christmas- Green Day & The Kinks

 

Every year I play this song. This year I've included a cover version by Green Day.

 

Republicans have now created the culture of gun worship and political murder—So don't let a school massacre surprise you

 By Steve Otto

There should be no surprise that The Oxford High School, in Michigan, was shot up by a 15 year-old right after a jury sprang Kyle Rittenhouse, after he shot and killed two people and wounded a third. Rittenhouse was  also under age, 17. Along with politicians and gun rights groups trying to make a hero of him, we now live in a society in which killing their political opponents is now the normal thing to do.

We have seen Republicans, after gaining full control over our national government,  pushing gun rights to an extreme. I have nothing against gun rights, but there is a difference between defending the right to own a gun and the right to take a semi-automatic riffle to a protest and deliberately shoot protesters. And if the verdict was not bad enough, several republican office holders offered Rittenhouse an internship, or should we say a job, as a reward for killing protesters they don't approve of.

For example Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, invited the Wisconsinite to become one of his interns. Another example; Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida also offered Rittenhouse an internship, at which point Rep. Paul Gosar published a tweet that read, "I will arm wrestle [Gaetz] to get dibs for Kyle as an intern."

No matter what kind of politics these leaders practice, they are acting like juvenile idiots. They are supposed to represent all of the people in their districts, not just the murderous right-wing crazies.

This is a major step in the so called culture war. Republicans want to reward those who deliberately kill their opponents. They are willing to embrace murder, by their followers, in order to stop protests and riots. While school shootings seem more and more common, instead of pushing for some kind of limitations on the purchase and use of dangerous weapons, the Republicans keep doing the opposite. They keep lowering the age for who can own a weapon and carry one. They have pushed for laws that defend owning guns and have practically outlawed any attempt to restrict gun ownership or carrying of such weapons.

To be blunt, Republicans and similar right-wing crazies, seem to want to create a culture of gun violence. They seem to be under the impression that only right-wing crazies as themselves will carry a gun. And they practice using them. The third protester that Rittenhouse shot had a gun himself. But he didn't use it and that seems to have been a mistake. He had a change and perfect right to shoot and kill the murderous brat.

People on the left need to get guns and learn how to use them, because as long as we are under assault by the right, we need our own guns and we need to how to use them. Their is no law to help us. The cops will just turn their heads and look away. The culture war is become more than  a metaphor. It is a real war. There is little doubt that many protesters will now be too afraid to go to a protest against police violence or in support of Black Lives Matter. Many right-wingers accuse BLM of being a Marxist front of some kind. Their hate against these people is obvious and they approve of murder.

It is not unlike the  Greensboro massacre of 1979. Members of the Communist Workers Party faced of with the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was better armed and took the fight more seriously and they killed members of the CWP.

The American people need to get used to crazy people  and the murder they commit, such as the 15 year old who shot up the Oxford High School. If he gets the same lawyer as Rittenhouse, he should get off scot free. All he has to do is convince a jury his fellow students scared him. As long as people vote in politicians who have created this culture of gun worship and violence against political opponents, we should expect more of the same. We should also expect other consequences such as crazy children taking their father's pistols and going to school for a massacre. This is little chance the father of that kid will be held responsible for leaving that gun where his kid could get it. It is what most people have voted for. Such voters have made their bed, now it is time to lay in it.



 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Another not-so thankful Thanksgiving Day

 By Steve Otto

Yesterday was another Thanksgiving. I did not visit anyone. I did not have turkey dinner. And to be frank, this is one year when I have little to be thankful for. On a personal level I had many problems. My wife died last January. I had legal troubles and I do not have a drivers license. I also fell down a flight of steps, which in a round about way got me fired from my last job. I had to have my shoulder operated on and I am in rehabilitation therapy. Nationally, just a few days ago, a jury let Kyle Rittenhouse off scot free for murdering two protesters and wounding another. This gives other vigilantes a green light to kill legal protesters.

Among the many things I’m not thankful for are all the blather on the national TV news, this morning, on Black Friday and all the great sales that people can expect. I am thankful that I have no one to buy for this year, so, I can skip all the senseless shopping. I’m totally disgusted that shopping and making captains of industry rich is so important on this so-called holiday. Profiteers, political leaders and pundits seem to have made sure that every corporate stooge has his or her hands in the till. Capitalism could not be more grotesque or disgusting as it is this time of year.  

We can ad to all of this, the fact that this is probably one of our most politically incorrect holiday of the year. For a closer look see:

American Thanksgiving: A Pure Glorification Of Racist Barbarity

 

As usual, we need a good traditional Thanksgiving song:



Friday, November 19, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse verdict—this is war!

 By Steve Otto

The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict has given rightwing vigilantes a green light to show up at our protests and kill us with semi-automatic guns—or any guns. This is an act of war. We on the left and people of color do not deserve to be shot down in the streets like animals.

I myself plan to get a gun and I will learn to use it. I have a 22, but I want something that can take an active shooter down quick. We are now at war. We need to be ready to shoot it out with vigilantes. It is not enough just to have a gun. We need to learn how to use them and fire at those bastards. Don’t just aim a gun at them and say “what are you doing.” We need to shoot! If that last victim had just shot Rittenhouse, he would not be a problem now.

This reminds me of the Greensboro massacre of 1979. Members of the Communist Workers Party faced of with the Ku Klux Klan. Members of the KKK shot and killed five members of the CWP. The CWP was armed, but they couldn’t shoot very good. We can’t make that mistake again. There was a trial and the KKK members were let free. That’s because they shot communists.

That was their defense and it worked. People on the left need to arm themselves.

This also shows that the jury system in the US is crap. Twelve citizens with no legal background and they decide some one’s fate. They often get it wrong.

THIS IS WAR!



Thursday, November 18, 2021

This is not tilting at windmills—we have a right to be heard—a right to freedom of speech—not the censorships of Facebook!

 By Steve Otto

Once again Facebook has censored me for my opinions. They are claiming that I violated their community standards. To put it in simple language this is what they said:

You can't post or comment for 2 days

This is because 3 of your previous posts didn't follow our Community Standards.

Nov 16, 2021

Your comment didn't follow our Community Standards

Jun 12, 2021

Your comment didn't follow our Community Standards

May 15, 2021

Your comment didn't follow our Community Standards

Here is my post for Nov. 16:

Has anyone seen those adds for cashnetUSA.com, Do you know what the interest rate is on those loans--a little over 200%. That is a whole lot of money, and I do mean A whole lot of money-!!!!

I then posted a link to that ad on TV:



Along with:


 

Their complaint is that I threatened people with violence. So where in this comment does it say that I encourage anyone to use violence? The answer is nowhere. There is no suggestions that people use violence against these lenders. In earlier posts I did say that these lenders are crooks, and they deserve much worse than what most activist want to do. I posted an article in my blog, the Idiot Factor: Corruption Folly which said:

I recently attended a Payday Loans Town Hall meeting. Most of the people there wanted to reform the predatory lenders rather than banning them. My personal feelings are that people who try to profit of the most vulnerable of people really belong in jail. I would rather see those institution banned. That is possible, but maybe not what is best for the people who live around them. Maybe the people who live around the Payday Loans and other similar institutions will be better off if those institutions simply treat them fairly.

I don’t blame the people in those areas for wanting reforms rather than bans. But I have a strong distaste for those who want to profit of off those in our society who are already down. They profit off of those who have problems finding a job that pays more than minimum wage. They profit off of those who may be living in sub standard homes, which cost them a lot of money. They  profit off of those who may be driving cars that are about to fall apart at any time. When they do fall apart they have to find money to fix them and that is not always possible.”

 

In the past I have suggested that some of these deserve to be shot, “DESERVE,” but I never seriously suggested that people actually use violence against them. My latest comment said nothing about hurting anyone. I didn’t say anything about putting people in jail. So why was my view point censored?!

This is an obvious case of me being shut down simply because some one does not like my opinion.

Facebook is a monopoly that can control what ever they want in a public forum. We already have three major news networks, ABC, NBC and CBS. All of them are very biased. These three networks dominate what passes for news and what is accepted speech and what is not. If there are views they don’t like, they have ways to make them go away. They ignore them and make sure such views are kept from the public. They are very affective at doing this. Facebook is following in their footsteps. They are making sure that anyone who does not support the Bourgeois status quo, simply disappears—or at least their opinions do. For example, how many people in the public eye are able to disagree with our leader’s treatment of Cuba? Those who defend the Cuban government are kept out of the public eye.

The bourgeois press is fond of pointing out that America’s Communist Party can freely publish their newspaper. That is true. But how many people have ever seen it? If any American wanted to see that newspaper, for themselves, how easy would it be to find such a paper? How many people know where to get one? Unlike the old Communist run governments, we do not have official censorship—we have effective censorship. There are no laws on the books to censor people here in America and yet there are voices that are never heard. Thanks in part to the US Congress, and due to both parties, Facebook has become another bourgeois form of thought control. They are a monopoly; they are owned by $billionaires and those of us who cross their point of view get buried. Only the wealthy and powerful in this country can be heard without censorship. Others can be swept under the rug and never heard from again. There is no organization—no company that can rival Facebook. And they know it.  

Another important point is that Facebook is protecting people with unscrupulous practices that harm poor people, trapping them in debt and then squeezing out large amounts of money from them. Such practices used to be called extortion. But today these criminal practices stay legal thanks to such leaders as Donald Trump and institutions as Facebook!

I plan to appeal this to their censorship board. If that does not work, I plan to seek the help of those who are tired of a lopsided view of leaders who believe they can censor and destroy those who get in their way or threaten their agendas!  

As of yet, we are not beaten. We will be heard!

 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Most US voters are idiots

 By Steve Otto

So they announced today that about 51percent of voters think the Republicans will do a better job than the Democrats. Only 37% think the president or the Democrats can managethe economy. So the idiots who vote are smart enough to remove such monstrosities as Trump when he really screws things up—but they run back to the Republicans before anything can really change. At the same time the Democrats are scared to actually do anything that might make the country better. They seem to believe their ideas are not as popular as the Republicans. So the Democrats will probably lose the house in the next election. Taxes for working class and poor people (At least at my earnings level) like me will pay more so that $millionaires and $billionaires can get or keep their hefty tax break. Only an idiot would vote to let rich people rip us off like that. But voting doesn't seem to do us any good any more. All that work I did for Democrats has been for nothing. The voters in this country are just idiots.

I saw this add under an article. What ever they may say, we can all expect any changes in health care to work against us if we are working class people. If the Republicans win back control of the house, we will end up with a Donald Trump like solution, which means nothing will be done to make health care more affordable. The voting public seems to accept a system design to aid wealthy people at the expense of all the rest of us. And YES! The voters will actually choose this. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Another year—another Veteran’s Day!

 By Steve Otto

Tomorrow is veteran’s day. Every year I write an article about this holiday. And every year I hear all those same cliches, such as “Freedom isn’t free,” “They sacrifice all for Our Freedom.” Then there is; “They protect us while we sleep at night.”

That these vets are defending out freedom is one of the worst lies of the entire century. These troops are fighting to defend the moneyed interest of the corporations, $millionaires and $billionaires. These fights have little to do, if anything, with freedom. One big problem is that many soldiers, no doubt, really believe the lies. I hear many young people saying such things as “we want to kick the bad guy’s ass.” They seriously believe they are fighting for our freedom and our way of life. They are brave and dedicated. But their cause is still a lie. They are fighting for an empire pure and simple. While we see such claptrap grarbage as “30 Veterans Day Quotes to Show Our Appreciation This Year,”  Last year I posted:

Help Us Celebrate Armistice Day 2020!



Saturday, November 06, 2021

Black Friday, that orgy of capitalism, starts earlier every year

 By Steve Otto

Year after year I write an article making fun of Black Friday. That is the fake holiday were people get up early, the day after Thanksgiving, and they go out to buy expensive gifts for less money than usual. That holiday kicks off a monthlong spending spree that is supposed to be part of the holiday season. People buy gifts to their kids, their parents, other relatives, and friends. It is supposed to be the time of the year for giving, as if there is some kind of Christian value to it. But the reality is that is a time for massive profits for major corporations. Many retail companies use this month or two to make most of their year’s profit. This is supposed to be the day that Jesus Christ, the leading figure of Christianity, was born.

In reality no one really knows the date of Jesus’ birth. December 25 was chosen because there was already an important Roman holiday, Saturnalia. Since Christianity simply replaced the old Roman religion, they created a lot of Christian holidays to replace Roman ones. And Christmas is much more of a Capitalist holiday that it is Christian. It is a major money maker and that is way more importance that the birth of a god-man. Despite last year’s pandemic, spending actually went up rather than down. According to the National Retail Federation:

“Retail sales during 2020’s November-December holiday season grew an unexpectedly high 8.3 percent over the same period in 2019 to $789.4 billion, exceeding the National Retail Federation’s holiday forecast despite the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, NRF said today. The numbers include online and other non-stores sales, which were up 23.9 percent at $209 billion.

And they expect sales to be even higher this year. Again, according to the National Retail Federation:

“Holiday spending has the potential to shatter previous records, as the National Retail Federation today forecast that holiday sales during November and December will grow between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion. The numbers, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, compare with a previous high of 8.2 percent in 2020 to $777.3 billion and an average increase of 4.4 percent over the past five years.

While some people find this holiday full of cheer, others as me, find the orgy of buying to be disgusting. People buy all kinds of gifts that are over-priced and often unwanted or unneeded. Buying expensive gifts seem more like an obligation than a gesture of generosity.

As with years past, companies seem to start earlier every year. People don’t wait until the actual Black Friday to start the spending spree. The greed, the buying—it all seems to grow more every year.

Christmas is a capitalist’s dream. It has way more to do with making money and commerce than the god-man Jesus. I still celebrate the holidays—not as Christmas, but as the Winer Solstice. My ancestors celebrated in the middle of the winter, or the shortest day of the year. I can celebrate without religion or spending a lot of money on expensive gifts that no one really appreciates.

I love holidays and traditions, but I don’t like the celebrations of capitalism and a holiday designed to make those captains of industry rich.

So it is another year and a another colossal orgy of needless spending, a great time to be a capitalist.