Wednesday, June 09, 2004

REAGAN STILL DEAD

Yeah, I know it’s an old Saturday Night Live joke from the 1970s Belushi era, but what the hell, it’s vintage. I never really expected all this. Like I said in the last post (funereal pun?) CityBeat are running my best take on the Reagan mortality circus on Thursday, but here in the meantime is a handy antidote to all the sentimentality oozing from the TV by Charles Idelson. It seems to have been circling the internet, but it was forwarded by some girl...

25 REASONS TO NOT MOURN REAGAN (in no particular order, add your own)

1- Nicaraguan contras. Reagan called them the "moral equivalent of our founding fathers." U.S. created terror army in Nicaragua murdered tens of thousands of people and destroyed a social revolution; today majority of Nicaraguans live in poverty in the 2nd poorest country in the hemisphere after Haiti.

2- PATCO. 11,000 union air traffic controllers fired by Reagan, opened and encouraged a new era of union busting by employers and anti-union policies.

3- Reganomics, as Papa Bush called it "voodoo economics," how to carry out the biggest tax cut for the rich and biggest military buildup in decades while maintaining a balanced budget. It didn't work.

4- Afghanistan. CIA created, trained, funded, and armed "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan, including Osama bin Laden, to fight the Soviets.

5- "Trees Cause Pollution". Said Reagan, removing thousands of acres of public land to hand them over to timber, oil and mining corporations.

6- Star Wars, MX "peacekeeper" missile, B-1 bomber. And other destabilizing weapons systems intended to foster a new arms race with the Soviets and create a new U.S.-first strike capability.

7- Bitburg. Reagan's pays homage to Hitler's most elite military group while visiting an SS cemetery, calls the SS victims of Nazism "just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps."

8- Antonin Scalia. Appointed by Reagan to the Supreme Court.

9- Angola. CIA funds and arms a terror guerilla army that kills millions in a two-decade war, with an ongoing legacy of the world's most land mines.

10- Civil Rights. Justice Department slashes funding for civil rights enforcement.

11- "Aristocratic Movement". As one historian put it. Ron and Nancy become patrons of aristocratic culture in fashion, communications, etc. "Dynasty" and "Lives of the Rich and Famous" become major TV shows.

12- Iran Contra Affair. Secret White House cabal sells arms to Iran to fund contras, subverting the Constitution and avoiding Congressional oversight.

13- Guatemala. Rightwing, evangelist dictatorship funded and armed, with frequent massacres of the indigenous population, and 1/8 of population displaced. Dictator Rios Montt says on national TV he had "declared a state of siege so we could kill legally." Regan says Rios Montt had a "bum rap" on human rights abuses.

14- "Ketchup is a vegetable." Dept. of Agriculture says ketchup can be counted as a vegetable for calculating nutritional value in school lunches to facilitate major cuts in public school lunch funding.

15- William Rehnquist. Appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by Reagan.

16- Savings and Loan Scandal. Created by banking industry deregulation, costs U.S. taxpayers billions to bail out failed S&Ls.

17- Homelessness. Grows by the millions as "Reaganville" homeless camps are created across U.S. Regan says many are "homeless by choice."

18- Conspicuous consumption. "Yachting," "Gourmet," "Architectural Digest," and "Wine Spectator" are the fastest growing U.S. magazines, with the aid of the biggest tax cut for the rich in U.S. history.

19- Industrial wastelands. Mass shift of high-wage industrial jobs overseas, creating ghost lands in the industrial heartland.

20- South Africa. U.S. opposes divestiture and continues to back white rule in Pretoria defying growing worldwide anti-apartheid movement.

21- CIA drug running. CIA supports drug empires in Latin America, including Manuel Noriega in Panama and drug kingpins in Colombia to support U.S. policies in region, fostering growth of crack and drug crisis in U.S.

22- Ferdinand Marcos. VP George Bush salutes Marcos' "commitment to democracy" as U.S. continues to prop up his dictatorship in the Philippines.

23- James Watt, Earl Butz, Ed Meese. Reagan cabinet members.

24- El Salvador. U.S. funded and trained death-squads and their government sponsors kill tens of thousands of Salvadorans, plus an archbishop and U.S. nuns.

25- Income gap. Richest 10% hold 73% of country's net worth following the Reagan years. Ratio of executive pay to factory worker pay goes from 42:1 in 1980 to 419:1.


MEANWHILE, NOAM SAYS,

Fidicen forwards an analysis by Noam Chomsky on Z Mag. It’s real long, there’s some encouraging stuff at the end that makes clear that world opinion, particularly when demonstrated en masse can put a partial brake even on the likes of George Bush.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=40&ItemID=5660

CRYPTIQUEStill trapped in the devil’s bargain.

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