How We Are Manipulated #1

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

220px-John_Boehner_official_portraitWhen I awoke a short time ago my mind was in its usual morning fog that slowly dissipates as I go through my wake-up routine which includes laying out the 35 or so pills that I take to stay alive. That fog mentally is usually a jumble of wide ranging short thoughts that are later forgotten as the fog lifts after my first coffee. On the way to the bathroom for my morning ablutions I found myself thinking about the biggest news all week which had been the shutdown of the government and the crisis that ensued. Suddenly, as an idea arose that woke me from the fog. Political Theater, it is all political theater. The threatened shutdown by the Republican Congressman, led by John Boehner et. al. was merely a show whose purpose was to destroy the publicity that would have surrounded the inception of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dubbed by the conservative PR geniuses “Obamacare”. How obvious this was took my breath away and also gave me some chagrin that it took me so long to see this con job in the making, while I mulled over the ramifications of a government shutdown. As the President has said and as some Republican have opined the GOP’s great fear regarding “Obamacare” is that it will succeed. Since enrollment was scheduled to begin on October 1st, without the shutdown speculation dominating the news cycle there would have been much publicity on the beginning of people enrolling in the plan. There would have been actual discussion of the plan and not just the cacophony of misinformation deftly spread by well placed conservative rumor mongers, broadcast blaringly on FOX News and flacked by the innumerable leaders of the “Tea Party”. Our mainstream media would play their continuing game of false equivalence by blithely accepting all information as being equal and not bothering to supply context when lies are told in the service “informing” the public.

Instead we have a manufactured crisis that sends the ACA to the back pages of virtual news media and we have faux layoffs and service loss endlessly debated. Now in truth this thought make me even a little sad for those “Tea Party” congresspeople that haven’t been let in on the nature of the game, nor their role as pawns in the manipulations of some the wealthy elite in this country. As I explained awhile ago in these guest blogs: and  the so-called “Tea Party” is not a grassroots movement, but the creation of the Koch, via an organization known as “Freedomworks” which they fund. On the Bill Maher show last Friday night one of his panel guests was the President and CEO of “Freedomworks” Matt Kibbe. From my perspective he was debunked by the panel, particularly Congressman Alan Cranston. What caught my attention though, was that Kibbe was at one point railing about how big government was run by insider lobbyists. None on the panel, or Maher, were perceptive enough to call him out on this since he is the quintessential lobbyist for the Koch Brothers.  To my mind there is nothing to see here folks, move along and allow yourselves to be distracted by yet another manufactured crisis, designed to prevent you from actually evaluating the health care plan that is now available to you without adequate health care, or who are paying far too much for what should be a basic right of citizenship, health care. The Affordable Care Act is not my ideal of what American health insurance should be about because I believe in the “single payer” system used in most civilized nations. However, it is far better than what we already have and because of that should be fairly evaluated by the public. Perhaps though that fair evaluation will never get a chance since there are those who consciously work to distract us through propaganda, mythology and political theater into supporting what is in our own worst interests.

After I had written and posted this to my surprise I discovered this article in The New York Times. “A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning” .  A short excerpt:

“WASHINGTON — Shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy. Their push to repeal Mr. Obama’s health care law was going nowhere, and they desperately needed a new plan.

Out of that session, held one morning in a location the members insist on keeping secret, came a little-noticed “blueprint to defunding Obamacare,” signed by Mr. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups.

It articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles: that Republicans could derail the health care overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans — including their cautious leaders — into cutting off financing for the entire federal government.”

Perhaps my subconscious was channelling, but it seems that my idea through the morning fog has some weight to it.

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

285 thoughts on “How We Are Manipulated #1”

  1. Bron: Either calories have an intrinsic value, or nothing has an intrinsic value. Animals value calories; that is why they will fight over food, and expend energy to try and win larger stores of calories.

    Sunshine has no intrinsic value, because for animals it cannot be eaten, let them live longer, or give them the energy to find a mate and reproduce. Food does have intrinsic value because it can be used directly by animals and humans, and we measure that value in calories. (or more generally net calories provided after any expenses in capture, processing, and digestion).

    That is why cooking added value to foods, it increases the net caloric content of food available to animals by using heat as a pre-digestion step that natural digestion had not evolved; breaking down chemical bonds in the food that were preventing much of the caloric content from being extracted by digestion.

    The most sensible basis is indeed energy, but an alternative to energy is to recognize that a dollar is a standardized unit of work, whether done by man, animal or machine, that allows other things that cannot be standardized (like pleasure at a resort, or creativity, or hilarity, or excitement at a game, or a feeling of safety) to be priced by individuals; both the sellers (the minimum units of work they will accept for their work or product) and the buyers (the maximum units of work they will pay for somebody else’s work or product).

    Creativity is not the only reason some people get paid more than others; that was the point of an earlier post. Some people, like the Waltons, are paid more than others without doing a damn thing, just because of their status as “owners.”

    And I am not talking about any riches they already own or inherited, I am talking about new money (profits) coming in and being paid to them to make them richer. They could be in a coma or vegetative state and still be getting richer.

    That is not a result of their creativity, or anything they do or have ever done; they are not getting paid because they are contributing to society or others in any way at all; they are just the parasitic beneficiaries of a profit machine. In this case, a highly exploitive one (Walmart). “Creativity” of Sam Walton is not why they are getting richer, unless you count the despicable creativity of institutionalized exploitation of workers that have no viable alternatives except to work for exploitive wages (an unfair share of the value they create).

  2. tony c:

    I dont think a calorie is a good unit of value. it has no intrinsic value, what is produced with a calorie has value but not the calorie itself. A calorie is of value only to the particular individual. Now food does have value to an individual.

    I am not using creativity as a medium of exchange. I am using creativity as a reason why some people are paid more than others.

    If I am rich I can fly on a commercial plane, a jet rental or I can use my own plane, each one takes about the same amount of calories. Granted if I have my own it is a little quicker.

    A calorie has nothing to do with why I want a plane, I may just like to fly. So a calorie really isnt a good measure to base a standard of value.

    But I do agree that wealth is the result of human effort which is a result of what you eat which is a result of the energy of the sun. So really a human calorie isnt the fundamental basis of wealth it is the sun’s energy. Since the sun is free, the wealthy are exploiting the sun at the expense of the poor.

    We need to have a more equitable distribution of sunshine.

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