Fool Me Thrice

I am perturbed by  the United States launching of 50+ “Tomahawk” missiles which likely have radioactive elements into Syria.  This is a supposed retaliation for the alleged use of chemical agents by the Syrian government.  This is not the first time Syria has been accused of using chemical weapons.  The first such accusation, under the Obama administration was never proven.  In fact, the only evidence coming out of subsequent investigations was that the “rebels” had likely used the chemical agents in that case.

Have we forgotten that WMDs that never existed were used as excuse for war in Iraq?  How many times do we need to be lied to before we start questioning the official narrative?  The major news networks all cite US military as the source of their reports.  There is no journalism in that.  Who is on the ground? Who has witness reports?

I have watched intelligent, caring people erupt with rage at Assad and the Syrian regime while looking at photographs of dead children.  Unfortunately, anger can quickly lead to a reaction which can be violent and even self-destructive.  We need more thoughtful investigation.  We all need to think critically before we respond to any injustice.

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Wheat Tell

Stories We Tell

The Stories We Tell

Store Ease Wheat Tell Tha,

Store eice weed hell

We Tell the Stories, and when we tell these stories,

We’d tell ‘m straight.

No waiting, Stand on the point.

Scream out of luck, exuberance plain.

Goes, anything that feels.  Growth.

Gets discust.

Private Democracy + Broadway

“BURR:
My God!

BURR AND COMPANY:
In God we trust
But we’ll never really know what got discussed
Click-boom then it happened

BURR:
And no one else was in the room where it happened”

 

 

Bernie Sanders had a private meeting inside the Oval Office with President Obama. One can infer that the current campaign for the presidency as well as the Democratic platform were the subjects at hand. Barack Obama had a meeting with Hillary Clinton in the waning hours of their own horse race. In exchange for her campaign concession, Clinton received a cabinet position, but that was not all. Obama would later need to campaign for Hillary.
And so we see Obama in 2016 inviting Hillary Clinton’s troublesome challenger to the White House for a discussion.

 

“No one really knows how the game is played
The art of the trade
How the sausage gets made
We just assume that it happens
But no one else is in
The room where it happens.”

“No one really knows how the
Parties get to yesssss
The pieces that are sacrificed in
Ev’ry game of chesssss
We just assume that it happens
But no one else is in
The room where it happens.”

 

There are thousands if not millions of conversations and meetings happening outside outside of these rarified, sometimes ovally shaped rooms.  If only there were a room big enough, open enough to include everyone, absolutely everyone in a lively, ongoing conversation…

Subsequently, inevitably, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton herself have had a private sit down of there own. This was likely a very tense occasion at the Capital Hilton in DC.  Advisors from each campaign including Bernie’s wife Jane Sanders were in attendance, but of course the general public is not privy to these minutes.

 

“COMPANY:
The art of the compromise—

BURR:
Hold your nose and close your eyes

COMPANY:
We want our leaders to save the day—

BURR:
But we don’t get a say in what they trade away

COMPANY:
We dream of a brand new start—

BURR:
But we dream in the dark for the most part

BURR AND COMPANY:
Dark as a tomb where it happens”

 

 

 

Lyrics in quotes from the Broadway musical Hamilton! by Lin-Manuel Miranda

 

 

City Hall Restrooms: A Taxing Experience

In order to “unblock” my RI license for renewal of my automobile registration, I therefore needed to stop by Providence City Hall today and pay my “seriously delinquent” automobile tax. Whilst seeking out a parking space, I received an urgent message from my bladder in regards to the imminent release of fresh urine(formerly known as iced coffee).
So I figured “Hey, City Hall must have a bathroom”. I found a nice spot to park only one block away, put coins in the meter and walked toward the rear of the building. Apparently today is the day the back of the building gets hosed down. Some people in suits didn’t mind walking up the wet stone staircase but I chose to go around and use the side entrance.

Walking into the first floor hallway I noticed multiple office windows with white signs reading, “closed”.  Turning the corner, I found more white signs this time reading “closed for maintainance” on both Women’s and Men’s restroom doors.

I ascended the wide central staircase to the second floor where the Tax Collector office is located and decided to just pay my bill first.  At this point, my midsection was feeling increasingly unfortable so I was quite thankful that it only took ten minutes to pay my $125 bill which included $13 interest from my 2015(!) tax bill.

I went to the third floor and found a locked Men’s room.  When a nicely dressed lady came out of the Women’s room I asked her if anyone was in there and she told me I would be in “trouble with the police” if I went in there.

Moments later, after finally having located a police officer myself, I asked him if, since I had paid my tax bill, could I now use the restroom?  The studious looking officer directed me to take the elevator up to the fifth floor bathroom which was unlocked.

I walked out of City Hall feeling immense relief when a loud emergency fire alarm started sounding nearby.  I got back into my temporarily paid-in-full automobile and navigated it carefully around fire engines and other traffic in a successful escape from Downcity on a Tuesday.

Born

Born into it, unto this, cast amongst.

Priveleged and obstinant.  Genius of Lazy.  Overwhelmed by disbelief of self.

Who am I to be born into the richest and most powerful nation and of the supremacist race and dominant gender?  What right do I have? I have all the rights on Earth but satisfaction ain’t one of them.  It feels like Zero rights on the galactic, yea universal scale.

Why should I be so lucky as to lack ambition, display ambivalence in fashion?  My mind floats above and occasionally pities those lesser mortals with a glance or a prayer.

What would you have me do?  Shall I travel abroad on a Corps peace mission?  Dedicate my days to lonely corporate ladder climbing?  Maybe I should commit to all things physically grueling no matter the pay.  I should take my punishment. I should stand up to be counted by the free will of the Market as either mediocrity or death, golden elite or muck in the mud, cushion for the boot, lather for the shaving

I have always felt like a splinter this world, this country, this program, this regime,  Civil disobedience has been my only weapon, peaceful it may be, productive not always.  But guilt is all we can produce in this economy.

 

John DePetro’s Show(of racism)

If you are looking to spark your political angst in the morning, which for me is about as difficult as waving two sticks to the wind, then tune on in to the John DePetro radio show on AM 630 in RI.
His voice is mild, but his words are toxic and his hatred is blatant. In his rants he refers to “these immigrants” that “don’t belong here” and are turning Lil Rhody into a “Haiti of the North” “hellhole”.
Adding a touch of humor to the show, DePetro’s callers are the most ill-informed yet eager voices(with Rhode Island accent) to be found anywhere in media. Imagine if an internet troll identified themself as someone named “Nancy” and you could clearly hear the confused tone in her voice as she asked why Trump doesn’t just sue his own lawyers since the judge presiding over his case is of obviously of Mexican descent. Facebook would be a lot funnier.

DePetro gently nurses each caller’s inarticulate baby-logic and rephrases his or her statements into the talking points that best fit his own agenda(ratings).

This is sick entertainment.  I find myself filled with nervous laughter at the sheer stupidity of the concept that Rhode Island would be somehow better off if it was more white.  If that was true then maybe our ancestors should have stayed in Europe and built a bunch of insurmountable yet beautiful walls all around the continent. Hey, even Drumpf would still be in Germany!

You’re alarm clock is buzzing!

Surely by now anyone capable of even limited critical thinking can see that we are living in a country that engages in propaganda on its own citizens. Our independent minds are regularly cajoled and harassed, tickled and infiltrated by an incomprehensibly powerful media machinery that is owned and controlled by a handful of “elite” barons. These same small groups of individuals that skew and form our national media narratives are the very same people that also hold sway over our political system by openly doling out perfectly legal bribes.

 

If and when Bernie Sanders concedes this year before or at the Convention in Philly, what will we do?

Obviously, the unlikely outcome of a Drumpf presidency would be horrifying to any of us that can envision a world unified by our common humanity and respect for our home planet.  I can imagine spending hours upon days upon years arguing and debating with Drumpf supporters in the near future, but I hope not because it sounds about as productive as screaming at a wall.  Sure its fun for a few seconds but as I know personally, that kind of fun dissipates quickly just as a tree falling in a forest of deaf ears is seldom seen and never to be heard from.

If Hillary Clinton wins the whole thing(apparently Vegas thinks so!), I’m not sure we will be in a better position to change the world.  I don’t think we will continue to rely on presidential candidates to foment political revolution.  We may need to make an end run and organize outside of the political party system.   Maybe we can form a new “party” that isn’t a party at all.  Maybe the movement is already afoot and the collusion of GOP, DNC, MSM, USA all under the manipulation of a few corporate masters will not be able to stop a movement that is genuine, that comes from within.  I guess it depends on what we all believe is truly possible.  It is really possible that we have the ability to pull together as a species and put a stop to global climate trends that are leading to our impending extinction?

to be cont…

Protest/Vote

I, Joseph Fortune, do not now, nor have I ever felt guilty before about having voted for Ralph Nader.

Bad Vote

Unfortunately, however, I do feel somewhat guilty for having voted for Bill Clinton during his reelection bid(my first chance to vote this lifetime:) I had fallen into the he said/she said, us vs them gang war mentality.  It is similar to the magnetism of an act of violence(train wreck).  You want to know what everyone is so excited about?  It is difficult to just ignore.  You want to protect yourself first, you also want to help deescalate the conflict, but you’re really more likely to choose sides.  Its fight or flight and there’s no time for deep introspection.  You could head home(flight) and just ignore the election(scene of violence) and not vote at all.  Or you can “fight”, offer yourself to the situation to try to stop the violence and stop the bleeding, (maybe)start the healing.  But as the battle wages on, you eventually become collateral damage. You chose a side in a fight where you stand to gain nothing.  Even if your candidate wins, you lose.

Protest Vote

In the most recent Rhode Island Governor election, I cast a protest vote.  I voted for the “Cool Moose” Robert Healy.  I didn’t actually even want him to win.  I was pretty certain he wouldn’t.  What I really wanted was to wave a certain finger at the RI Democratic Party establishment.  I had been fortunate enough to be present at an unpublicized, invitation only speech given by Gina Raimondo in a basement in Providence during her campaign.  Basically she promoted her own resume of instituting neoliberal policies and her personal commitment to business/private sector interests.

Gina’s more public speeches peppered in some nice talk about the working poor of Rhode Island, but it was clear to me that Gina wasn’t going to be trying to help the people I know in Rhode Island.  She was more likely to give advantages to moneyed business interests at the expense of those of us struggling to make ends meet.

Collusion

The Kasich-Cruz collusion is an exemplary peak into the corruption of our society as a whole, including government, corporate power and the Oligarchy that governs us.

If a tactic that is illegal in business can be utilized freely in politics, what does that say about the morality of the tactic in question?  What does our society believe when it comes to the practice of collusion?

Businesses collude for their own benefit at the expense of consumers.  Kasich and Cruz diminished their already struggling brands and have given voters even fewer choices.  What if Bernie and Hillary join forces to upstage Trump?  It won’t be called collusion because they are conspiring against someone not from their party.  They will also be limiting voter’s choices.  What if Hillary and Donald are colluding to put the Clintons back into office safely in order to continue the global status quo?  Maybe we’ve never really had a choice at all.

A voter who dearly wants progressive change in this country will likely have to choose between two candidates who portend to offer either no change at all or a major swing in the anti-progressive(fascist) direction.

This, if we fall victim to the illusion of choice.  For a progressive, that is no choice at all.  Although many will say voting for a third party is a waste, those on the receiving end of your vote will greatly appreciate your support.  They may be ennobled to fight on.  Your vote may help the third party grow in future elections.  Most importantly, you are expressing to all paying attention(counting votes) that the “Political Revolution” is real.  In this way you are indeed voting for change for the long term.

ps Voting is only one part of what we can do for positive changes to occur…

Semi-Democracy

IMG_1012

On the Democrat side, RI is the only state holding an election today that is not a “closed primary”. This means that if you are Not registered as a member of either R or D party, you Can vote anyway. Yes. Here in RI when you cast your vote in either the D or R primary, you are also simultaneously registering yourself as an official member of that party(2008 RI legislation).

I have temporarily been a Democrat many times. I have also been, rarely, temporarily registered as a Republican.  I will join for a specific purpose(voting) but otherwise hate to be associated with any group as corrupt as either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.

This two-party system is so far away from democracy that very few people bother to vote at all.  If you do participate, there are plenty of hoops to jump through.  For example, if someone voted for Ron Paul in a previous primary election,  they will not be able to vote today for Bernie Sanders unless he or she took the time to fill out the extra disaffiliation form after voting last time.

No matter who wins our elections, they should be open to everyone no matter what party designation they choose.  This is one of many many important issues that need solving immediately.  Let’s let this be the last election that is in any way “closed”.