Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Matthew 7:15
…A primer on the mid term elections to be
held on November 7th, 2006…

Bill Hager

As the run-up to the 2008 presidential election begins, the evil that resides in men’s (and women’s…PC!) souls once again begins to bubble and froth to the surface. It’s currently getting a warm up in the form of the 2006 so-called mid-term elections. We’ve all been to this movie before. Emotionally stirring, gut wrenching, often times mind numbing, and almost always filled with celluloid heroes and heroines saving the day and riding off into the sunset…and living happily ever after. No matter how many times we see it, the story and the ending remains the same. It repeats itself visually and verbatim, numbing our senses to the reality that it was created from, or that it claims to represent. No matter the genre, the message is always a reflection of the prevailing values of our time. And we love it! Box office receipts reflect that…as do cable residuals, I might add.

This is the 21st Century, after all. A virtual electronic bombardment of the senses by wondrous feats of technology. Fascinating and compelling in their make up and ability to facilitate research, learning, entertainment, communications, and the general improvement of the quality of life for those who can afford it. And yet, frightening in their ability to condense the state of the world to a few spoon fed sound bytes. Bytes delivered to us from icons of our own making, who are either paying or being paid to deliver mind numbing, insulting, patronizing, factually incorrect, and often subliminal messages on behalf of the highest bidder, whether they be commercial or political…Left or Right; “Let’s Make a Deal!”, personified. A lot easier for “us”; but sadly, a lot easier for “them” to manipulate “us”, as well.

The problem is that in the 21st century we don’t have time to sit and read and digest well written and documented essays reflecting our differences of opinion. Even if the topics are critical to all of ours’ very quality of life and in some cases, actual survival. Instead, our icons feed us the “information” via a multi-plex of multi-media, transported to the masses via the “Information Highway”. We eat it with a very large spoon, as well as with an incredibly short attention span and uncritical eye for, not to mention an unstimulated interest in; the details of the information being disseminated. My grandmother used to say, “Sonny Boy, the Devil is in the details…”. Bad for “us” and good for “them” is the fact that we are imbued with, what seems to be an incredible retentive power for imagery. Therefore, we let the “Talking Heads” of the electronic media do our thinking and deciding for us in the language of sound bytes and spin. This frees us up to paying attention to more important matters, like trying to survive in an economy hostile to all but the corporate coffers and political war chests.

All of this so that our (the masses) personal time will be freed up to concentrate on surviving in the 2 ½ children per family; two under-paid jobs per family; economically corrupted; devoid of meaningful health care; Melting Pot gone awry; racially divisive; educationally backsliding, home of the shrinking middle class and alienated Blue Collar workers…not to mention record corporate profits. The place we proudly call America. Hell, we’re the fuel and the oil for the Big Machine of corporate profit…we should be proud and thankful! Who was it that said; “The business of America is business…”? What a visionary they were! How remiss we are for allowing it to have come to pass.

It’s not hard to understand how we got here. Major world events from Vietnam to Iraq, and natural catastrophic events of the scope of hurricanes Andrew and Katrina have increased our need for “information”, but have unfortunately condensed it for the purposes of our considering it and/or digesting it in ever increasing volumes of impingement. All of this has taken our eye off the ball. We have, since The Great Political Awakening and the political activism of the Nixon Years, slowly back-slid into relinquishing our personal voice and our political soul, the very items we worked so hard and sacrificed so much for under the banner of “political self-determination” back in The Day.

Now, under the “political leadership” of “political pundits”, “Party leaders” and “special interests advocates”…read that as; Lobbyists and well as divisively extreme minority agendas that are driven by, as well as shackled by, the antiquated and devisive ideas of the current “civil rights leadership” icons who have become the High Priests of Leftist politics, and in so doing they’ve taken over the temple of Truth and the money-lenders are back in business, right there on the steps. These are the False Prophets that I am referring to. Beware of them! They truly are what was meant when the term “sheep in wolves clothing” was coined. We take our political direction from those who have since exploited our efforts and successes for their personal, political, and financial gain without consideration to the overall political and financial advancement of the majority of the American people; the very source of those magnificent efforts and successes which they are so adeptly exploiting.

How does this all apply to False Prophets and our choices in the 2008 mid-term elections? Well, for starters; the premises and the topics and the issues are being manipulated by power mongers from both the Left and the Right. Folks who would spend more money in a day of “campaigning” than most of us in “middle” America will ever see or have at one time in a life-time of financially struggling to just barely keep up with "the Joneses" or stay alive as families. Folks who care more about status and power than the day to day health care of our greatest treasure; our children. Folks who would deplete the educational gene pool in order to negate future political competition.

We have surrendered our power to them. Whether as a result of the Gingrich revolution and the re-emergence of many of Nixon’s operatives under the banner of the better organized Neocons who have successfully learned to frame the American political debate; or the stagnation of the concept of united social consciousness of the Left, which set in after the much deserved fall of the Nixon creature from the political stage. We have left in it’s place a Left divided against itself and mainstream societal values as a result of it’s scrabble for increasingly limited resources against a financially bloated and ever “on message” Right. This dynamic has led to the subsequent perpetuation of the ol’ “Civil Rights” activist wing of the Left who have fought valiantly to gather political crumbs through it all, and who have in the process lost The House, The Senate, and The Presidency, and the National Agenda through the disunity and lack of consideration of personal responsibility or personal intellectual growth brought about by Political Correct thinking and tactics. We were fooled again; the “…New Boss, Same as the Old Boss…" is the sad result of this situation.

What to do? Educate yourselves to the issues, and take control of the political agenda by thinking for yourselves about them, instead of parroting what someone else wants you to think about in the lead-up to election day. Think for yourself, speak for yourself. Vote based on your personal knowledge and your own personal political concious. Do not vote along Party lines…instead, vote the candidates character and record based on principles rather than spin. The politics based on practice rather than rhetoric. Apply objective criteria to your evaluation of political messages that reflects the best direction and the best quality of life in all matters political and social for the largest number of those privileged to be Citizens of this great Democracy. This with absolutely no consideration of their race, historical origins, or religion…but for their quality of life, just as it is written in our Constitution and Bill Of Rights, and most importantly; vote every opportunity that you get to support those principles. In doing so, be open to New Ideas and strategies. The old ones sure ain't working out too well, these days. That would not only be the most rewarding thing that we could all do for America and those who claim it’s greatest privilege; Citizenship. It would also be the most Patriotic.
Semper Fi!

Monday, October 16, 2006


A few political operatives of the Right have spent millions of donated money to appear as a "mass movement" of outraged Right-thinking Americans. In reality, there are pitifully few of them, but they have enough support from the Bush/Rovian/Nixonesque political establishment to oil their machines.

The logistics are easy: Take $10 million dollars, hire a web consultant and fancy P.R. firm, reserve a few snappy, misleading domain names, and post your "truth-as-fact" in as many places as it takes to scatter the opposition.

If you're lucky, you might get to rewrite history your way. If not, well, a quick change of identity using what I call cybercamo; and who will know the difference?

Button up, I say. We're coming. And we know exactly Who's Who!

Take, for example, John Kerry's presidential candidacy and the efforts of the Not-So-Swift-Vets For Truth" (NSSV) to discredit Kerry's legitimate Vietnam service record and participation in Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). Through the formation of PACs, 527s and multiple websites with names like, (pure cybercamo; it's also the name of a powerful VVAW action now being re-released nationwide on film), the NSSV won a great victory, the Presidency, but left many Americans disheartened and distressed.

Truth is not found in a slogan, or an icon; nor is it found in the coffers or the words of the politically powerful. It is found in the hearts, minds and experience of those who sacrifice to get the word out despite a dazzling glitter of half-truths, distortions, character assassinations and outright lies.

As organizations like the NSSV spin webs of deceit to sustain their personal and political (and largely financial) interests, we little folks and progressive types (like VVAW) sail our modest cybersled computers right alongside them, but with a completely different mission: We refuse to have our history rewritten.

You see, even a child of the forties like me recognizes the potential of the Internet to grassroots' organizing. Thanks to Bill Gates, it no longer takes millions to raise consciousness. Getting the word out by website/email costs as little as $11.95 per month. When the war in Iraq came along, for example, we were no longer stifled by the cost of paper and postage. We reassessed our positions, reframed our arguments in the spirit of George Lakoff, and rejoined the ranks that had sagged after the sorry results of the November elections.

In the spring of 2005, we rallied our resources to participate in an historical open debate with the NSSV at the 5th Triennial Vietnam Symposium at Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock. As expected, the NSSV employed the same self-serving tactics, tricks and smokescreens they used under various names in the Nixon era. Our panel, consisting of early VVAW leaders, artists and authors, countered the way we always have: with the truth.

The TTU debates demonstrate that while cybercamo may work online for the NSSV, even with a $10 million dollar bankroll left over from anti-Kerry/VVAW campaign, it is hard to fool a live audience. Not only were the NSSV's attempts to rewrite history exposed in Texas by their words and actions, the unedited TTU videos are available online for everyone, history included, to judge for themselves.

The Inspiration of TTU

After Lubbock, some of us took positive action, forming, vowing to speak truth to power whenever the NSSVs or the like-minded attempted to publicly minimize and rewrite the sacrifices and contributions that VVAW (and other progressive organizations) make to America.

The NSSVs, however, realizing the serious credibility problem with Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, morphed into other liberal- or benign-looking identities (Google Scott Swett for a list) using, you guessed it, cybercamo. By repeating their messages in many forums, under many names, and using all the tricks that money can buy, the technique allows them to appear larger and more accepted than they are.

A strange and wonderful irony is that the more the NSSV attempts to destroy the image of VVAW, the more they actually enhance and reinforce it. (See Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation.) There are many examples that highlight the basic philosophical differences between veterans organizations like VVAW (powered by objective truth) and the NSSVs (funded by Big Money). At the very best, these vets are uninformed, automaton, self-proclaimed patriots. At the very worst, they are the paid henchmen of the Bush Administration, motivated by personal and political gain, to rewrite a history that was never theirs to rewrite.

Button up, I say. We're coming. And we've always known exactly Who's Who!

Semper Fi,
Willie Hager