September 16th, 2011 6:17 PM It's a Long Way from Bunker Hill
By Michael Moore
Last night, on the 3rd anniversary of the start of the Wall Street Heist of 2008, I spoke at Bunker Hill Community College in the Charlestown section of Boston..................
Welcome to America! Where schools are turned into beggars as the rich on the other side of town post record profits and bonuses and the top corporations get away with paying no tax at all. I took the stage and began a 20 minute howl rejecting the America I just witnessed. A country that puts the education of its young dead last. DEAD LAST. A country that has purposefully abandoned the human right to an education in favor of sending millions of ignorant, uneducated, lost young people out into this world. This is no accident. Those in power cannot stay in power UNLESS the population they rule over are stupid and ignorant. To be smart is dangerous -- and they know that. If the ignorant were to know anything about civics (no longer taught in most schools), that could be nothing short of explosive. Because, if you are taught how to have a say, how to fight city hall, how to run for office and WIN -- well, look out, 'cause you will then have democratic change. The people who would make up a smart, educated majority would then start calling the shots. And we certainly don't want that because you know what those people from south Boston, from Toledo, from Pittsburgh, from Raleigh, from Flint are going to do? They're going to stop the wars. They're going to spend the money on their kids' schools, on their parents' health care, on laying down some railroad tracks so they can get from Chicago to Milwaukee in a half hour. That and dozens of other things that benefit the many, not the few.
So last night, I just couldn't take it, folks. I turned away from this Dickensian "alms for the poor" scene and screamed "Enough!" I asked how many in the audience had come from the "other" sections of Boston to be here tonight. About half the crowd raised its hand. I then asked them to please put as much as they could afford into those envelopes and I would match it, dollar for dollar. By the end of the night I think we raised about ten grand for the Bunker Hill Community College Student Emergency fund (and with my match, it became a total of $20,000).
And then I asked all who were in the arena to make a pledge with me to reject this vision of America that has been thrust upon us. Reject it, fight it, fix it -- and to fix it, it will require a rumble. But hey, I was in south Boston, and if there's anyone who knows how to rumble ...! What I asked for was a nonviolent rumble of citizen participation.
The crowd spontaneously got up and clapped and shouted. I asked them if they would raise a ruckus in the months to come. The crowd shouted yes. And I believe they will. Here comes trouble? Ha! The kleptocracy had better brace themselves. It won't be long before they wish that had been just a cute title on an overpriced book.
"mike..im so sad to hear you say they will be crushed within minutes...i think you are incorrect...and pray..i have followed you for a long time. you are one of my heros. this is a world wide revolution. it has to start somewhere, your negative words are as bad as the corporate forces against the masses. considering who you are. you must know that. you have some responsibility...as a leader in the community of revolution not to crush the peaceful protests.....i am disappointed in your careless words"
He most likely would not run as a Democrat with Sanders, and also under the thumb of the corporatist DLC. So what happened to the last guy with true progressive principles that ran against Republican AND Blue Dog Democratic candidates?
He was and still is lambasted every time his-name-that-shall-not-be-mentioned comes up on these boards.
The problem with Ralph Nader is that he was saying that there was no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties long before it was as true as it is now. Consider the 2000 election when he was proclaiming it loud and clear and running himself. Can any sane and rational person believe we wouldn't have been better off with Al Gore than with George W. Bush? Individual candidates should also be considered over party (assuming that we have any "electable" worthwhile individual candidates these days).
20. While we do need a cash infusion, what we really need are permanent,
good-paying jobs. I don't believe that's going to happen until we deal with unfair trade with countries that pay their workers slave wages.
Corporations need dis-incentives to move jobs to China. Corporate boards and CEOs are required to try to maximize ROI for their shareholders, and outsourcing jobs is the easy 'low hanging fruit' that is used to do this.
like my 20 and 30 something kids, doesn't listen to the radio. Ever. They bring their ipods with them every time they drive and connect their music, much of it alternative and local. They get their news from the internet. We watched ABC news last night only because my daughter was on the Person of the Week feature with her friends who were recognized. So how did ABC news find out about pickupamerica.org? I nominated them via the website. There is hope.
38. that's the problem. they ignore it while it dominates politics and obstructs the reforms
they would like.
one local RW talker reading chamber of commerce talking points, piggybacking on the national blowhard propaganda can undo the work of thousands of activists, volunteers, protestors, donators.
if there was a national searchable database of the transcripts of the main talkers it could be monitored and the patterns could be analyzed and responded to BEFORE it was already absorbed nationally, but otherwise, democracy loving americans, whatever generation, are getting screwed.
the planet doesn't have time for the wired generation to slowly overcome the very loud and well coordinated nationwide repetition to large areas of the country where free politics while working or driving is only available from am radio, to the extent to which it gives 10% the power and influence of 50% and dominates one of our major parties.
78. Media Matters has been at this work for the past decade
they're a huge thorn in the side of FOX. Haven't followed their work in recent years, but they were monitoring right wing radio and cable 24/7/365. CounterSpin also focuses on rightwing and Mainstream Corporate Media's (including NPR) faux news reporting.
79. they do good work but mainly point out single events- the patterns and volume and repetition and the
overall effect goes largely undocumented or analyzed. there is no written record that can be read and searched that would allow left analysts to do that.
i just heard bill press who has a progressive radio talk show and who has written a book about talk radio recently repeat the misconception that obama has the bully pulpit and should be messaging better. this misconception comes from the left greatly underestimating the talk radio ability to dominate messaging in the US.
there is no bigger buzz machine, and once the think tanks notice the left or obama gaining traction they put together a campaign and start it with coordinated repetition from 1000 radio stations to 50 mil a week, many with no free alternatives for politics while driving or working.
testament to the left's ignorance of the importance of talk radio is that they play right along with the corporate media's interpretations of the tea party, who are nothing more than limbaugh hannity dittoheads who were given bus passes by the koch bros and got way from the karl rove central control when bush lost the white house. and who are and have been for the last 15 years, the activist (well misinformed and organized) GOP talk radio base.
30. 20 yrs of UNCHALLENGED RW radio is why we're in this disaster- why progressives useless politically
Edited on Sat Sep-17-11 11:23 AM by certainot
and why a small minority has been destroying democracy and defeating all progressive efforts at economic justice.
RW radio has been allowed to determine what is and what isn't acceptable in america, doing the groundwork for selling war, deregulation, and tax inequality.
the memes the teabaggers and the GOP politicians scream are acceptable because they can be pounded into the earholes of 50 mil a week, as determined by the think tanks who feed the blowhards on their giant uncontested nationally coordinated soapbaxes.
no larger stimulus, no higher taxes on the rich, no single payer, supremes like thomas and alito, and the enabling of the MSM to give 50% of the seats at the table to a 10% minority were possible mainly because their is NO organized opposition to the right's best weapon.
but even though reagan killing the FD 20 years ago started all this the planet can't wait for legislation to fix the radio problem even if a new and improved FD would work.
44. Good rant, but unfortunately, none of your points have
anything to do with the outsourcing of American jobs, which is my personal peeve, having been outsourced three times in the last decade.
Almost no one in America (except corporate directors and their large shareholders) think outsourcing jobs is a good thing. RW radio listeners are mostly blue-collar, and have been hit harder than anyone else by it. Rush Limbaugh's position on outsourcing is that those jobs are gone and will not be coming back. And you know what? He is absolutely right.
American companies began outsourcing jobs long before the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated, and you're going to have your work cut out for you showing me any causal correlation.
American companies did this to remain profitable. The trouble starts when one manufacturer in a particular industry, say disk drives for example, goes offshore. The remaining manufacturers in that sector have to immediately follow suit or they will literally be bankrupt in the next quarter. The constant consumer demand for lower prices has driven manufacturers to follow the money to the bottom. A 20 MB disk drive that cost $700 in 1982 has been replaced by a model with 100X the capacity at 10% of the price.
The price we've all paid for this progress is the loss of much of our manufacuring base, and much of the middle class.
If the directors of American companies cannot generate a profit, then the shareholders of that company will be fired and replaced with new directors who can generate a profit. This is what needs to be addressed. Corporate compensation needs to somehow tied to the societal costs of outsourcing. If HP can toss 30,000 skilled workers to the curb, there is a massive cost to society that HP just walks away from.
I don't know precisely how to fix this, but I think it will take political will that is just lacking. We need leadership, not censorship.
52. RW radio is used to fight any legislation to reduce outsourcing, increase manufacturing and
investment here, change trade policies, tariffs- anything you can think of that could have been done the last 20 years has been or would be obstructed by made-to-order constituencies of blue and white collar dittoheads, as ordered and motivated and misinformed by think tanks and chambers of commerce feeding talking points through team limbaugh.
the RW talk radio monopoly on public airwaves, on stations licensed to operate in the public interest, is an expression of free speech in the same way that corporations are people.
77. True Information and exposure to differing viewpoints.
IF Americans are regularly exposed to this, they will become receptive and curious. Look at how the propaganda quickly became the "truth." If, through the FD, the "accepted wisdom" is proven false and people are routinely exposed to the uncensored views of many intelligent people, hopefully, Americans will see and work for the real needs of Americans. IMO, they would shortly demand it.
If I, as a non-Union carpenter for 15 or so years, had been exposed to the reality of what the Union could help you obtain, instead of weekly anti-Union meetings that were given us because of the GREED of our
employers, I would have joined the Union at least a decade before I did. I was (for my occupation) an educated person. Yet, I accepted the non-Union propaganda for years because I was in fear of my job, I felt
that I wasn't skilled enough to be at that level, yet I wanted the pay and benefits for my family. Actually, after showing 5 continuous years of construction W-2's and a four hour test, I was rated a Journeyman
In all categories. IMO, if people are shown the real roadblocks to their success (and their countries success) and exposed to the solutions, honestly, then, at least, they are more prepared and aware. That makes them
believe "if only", which should lead to the "big leap" that helps force politicians to shit or get of the pot. Government does create jobs. They have toolboxes full of tools that are available to push business' into doing the right things for America.
51. one of RW talk radio's most important functions is to create made-to-order constituencies to enable
and intimidate politicians and media and make the 10% look a lot bigger and sound a lot louder than they really are.
there's a reason around 20% of famericans say they get their news from talk radio and it's a very similar % that always polls as agreeing with the hard core GOP positions. and that's all they need to obstruct because they're always on teh same page and coordinated.
those 1000 radio stations can create a national buzz madison ave would be jealous of if they were selling tangible goods instead of war, global warming denial, deregulation, and lower taxes.
and because the left ignores where the groundwork is done and analyze as in a talk radio vacuum they get away with it. the corporate media owners and managers and can continue to point to the teabagger dittoheads as a 'popular movement' and evidence that their producers and journalists need to keep paying attention to them. politicians can always repeat the same rational for voting against a larger national desire because they can count on the same talking points to be pounded into the earholes of those 50 mil a week.
63. I don't think it's all that influential. There will always be a left-right political
Edited on Sat Sep-17-11 05:31 PM by Flatulo
spectrum, and even if Rush were to disappear tomorrow, I don't believe the center of gravity would change very much.
There will always be that hard-core 20% at the far left and far right. You're correct that they make noise out of proportion to their numbers, but policy is being made by monied interests, not the rants of extreme elements. The monied interests happen to be right-leaning, but they're not getting their marching orders from Rush - they do what they do for profit.
I believe the road back to more equitable distribution of wealth lies in restoring the business regulations that we used to enforce, and restoring sanity to the tax code.
65. considering time lost on global warming, ignoring RW radio has been the biggest blunder in history
it wasn't fox that turned the democratic party into the democrat party, or swiftboated ACORN, or van jones, or clinton or gore or kerry. fox helped but only the coordinated radio monopoly could do that kind of unchallenged repetition day after day.
palin was chosen to get limbaugh behind mccain in time for the convention. she was announced minutes before his friday show started the week before the convention and limbaugh used it as an excuse to finally give his blessing to mccain- without which the convention would have been a disaster.
it is why immigration became and becomes such a big deal around elections- and how it has been such a useful issue to the GOP for passing voter suppression.
we've always had money in politics and democracy was designed to handle that. and we were making slow progress. but the last 20 years has been a disaster for progress. radio has made the difference. it allows them to create the constituencies to enable money to win. dems keep trying reforms and keep getting beaten by team limbaugh channeling the think tanks, deciding what is and what isn't acceptable. until the left finally challenges radio forget any real reforms. any media reform attempts bring howls about 'free speech'. election and campaign finance reform is the same- dems are trying to steal elections. team limbaugh will not allow dissent and those that would don't make it past teh dittohead dominated primaries. there can be no bipartisanship, no democracy. and their swiftboating and voter suppression works because the left ignores it.
the left has no written searchable record of it and has no idea of all the crap they've had to react to, and how many times they've been beaten, merely because they ended up noticing and reacting too late. whether it takes years like ACORN or weeks like van jones or one week of concentrate limbaugh action like the global warming email gate idiocy, the heavy lifting of unchallenged repetition can only happen on that coordinated talk radio machine.
that is where the teabagger's alternate reality was created- they are limbaugh-hannity dittoheads, just brought out into the open and given bus passes from the kock bros.
that is where most of the teabaggers got the notion that defaulting was no big deal and had an upside.
anytime something big is brewing catch a few of the RW blowhards and you'll see the patterns. anything the left or obama is successful with in messaging will trigger and immediate response from the think tanks who will develop a distortion or distraction campaign that starts on radio. and if a favored RW pol fucks up there will quickly be a number of rationalizations and excuses to choose from. just listen to limbaugh make excuses for perry next time he fucks up and know that 20 mil will hear it from him and then probably the rest of the team wil be close behind. there is little variation.
69. Now that's a convincing post. I didn't see all these angles, especially
the global warming deniers and the government default cheerleading, until you pointed them out.
I've been thinking mostly about the jobs problem, probably because it's affected so many engineers I know, myself included. My personal crusade for the last decade has been reforming corporate governance and compensation to bring it in line with the rest of the non-insane world. But the other points you raise are certainly areas in which progressives have lost the initiative.
Still, I can't help but wonder how easy it is to change peoples' minds. I've been posting in the 9/11 forum for five years and haven't changed a single mind. Maybe it's because my arguments suck, but I'm also inclined to believe that people stubbornly hang onto their beliefs out of a need to protect their narrative.
I further have to wonder how successful progressive voices can be, regardless of the medium. I say this because there is a vast difference in not only the content, but the style in which progressives deliver their message. The RW gods tell people things that they want to hear, like their country is fucked up because of taxes and brown-skinned people. That's a guilt-free message, because it's always someone else's fault. Progressives, on the other hand, tend to scold their audiences because in reality, sacrifice *is* needed. We do need to use less energy, drive more efficient cars, and help those less fortunate than ourselves, and make the rich pay their taxes. Now smart people aren't fooled by the likes of Hannity and Limbaugh, but let's not forget that 50% of the population is below average intelligence.
Anyway, good points and thanks for a well-crafted response.
60. yeah, that sucks. fortunately i just heard thom hartmann is on armed forces too.
and it is likely (from some RW radio i've heard) that there has been some scripted caller series designed for war support, selling pro war propaganda, and recruiting, and i wonder if the pentagon does some of that along with the think tanks like the heritage foundation.
...from a country that feels its athletes deserve far higher salaries than its scientists, etc.? Education isn't first on the list, it's circuses that count because they distract us from the real problems we should all be paying attention to. Yes, we do need to "rumble"--and grumble loudly!
Eisenhower and even Nixon would be totally drummed out of the republican party now. What's happened is that the big D democratic party is at best where the republicans were back then, the republicans are where the 1950 John Birchers were, the heartless insame asylum has taken over. So the choices now are right of center and right of way, way right with a perverted Jonathan Edwardsish interpretation of the Bible that would be alien to Jesus.
It's time to take our country back so our Founding Fathers can quit spinning in their graves.
I love that guy. He speaks truth to power. He is a true muckraker, a fearless outsider who tells the truth and is not afraid to pull punches. One has to wonder what our country has come to when somebody like Michael Moore is villified by a large portion of our citizens.
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